Today, a team of experts in evolutionary biology from Rice University in the United States presented the results of their rather unusual and even surprising study on the consideration of a new concept and theory about the origin of life on Earth. At the center of their research is the analysis of a fairly simple and at the same time unusual form of the protein of the family of ferredoxins, which is one of the key elements due to which many billions of years ago the first cellular organisms managed to survive, having developed a certain metabolic process and system – so scientists started a new study of this simple protein.
In particular, they decided to test the theory that it is this simple protein that became the catalyst that gave birth to polysyllabic organisms on our planet – for this purpose, experts engineered the E. coli bacteria genome and, removing the more complex metabolic protein from it the same families, instead of it were placed a synthetically created simple ferredoxin.
Despite the fact that in its form and functionality, this simple protein is much more primitive than those proteins that regulate the metabolic processes of modern living beings – including us, humans – still, experts managed to achieve really interesting results. Because the engineered ferredoxin proteins actually allowed E. coli to continue to live and develop, albeit noticeably slower than using their modern, developed genome. The results of the study point to several interesting things that can change the whole picture of evolution.
Scientists note that they were primarily interested in illustrating the evolutionary ancestry of this simple protein family – because they believe that they were the catalysts for the emergence of more complex life forms many billions of years ago on Earth. In addition, they have a promising character for use in genetics.