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Old 12-22-2010, 07:41 PM   #1
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Default Some Genes Three Billion Years Old!

Life on Earth kickstarted 3 billion years ago: study

"PARIS (AFP) – Life on Earth dramatically surged around three billion years ago, possibly when primitive forms developed more efficient ways to harness energy from sunlight, according to a study published on Sunday in Nature. The conclusion is made by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who built a "genomic fossil", in essence a mathematical model that took 1,000 key genes that exist today and calculated how they evolved from the very distant past.
The collective genome of all life expanded massively between 3.3 and 2.8 billion years ago, and during this time 27 percent of all presently existing gene families came into being, the study suggests."


See Life on Earth kickstarted 3 billion years ago: study - Yahoo! News
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
The collective genome of all life expanded massively between 3.3 and 2.8 billion years ago, and during this time 27 percent of all presently* existing gene families came into being, the study suggests.
hmm. *currently existing gene families. The definition of presently I grew up with is "in the near future".

Heh.

Anyway. The amazing thing about our genetics is how little it has changed. People used to think that our genes changed massively as we progressed from progenitor to progenitor. Now it seems that the genes were set out ages ago, and the thing that changes is how and when they are switched on and off.

We all have ~roughly the same genome, if we are a fly, or a worm, or a human. Never mind chimp vrs human, *nematode* vrs human, its trivial to take almost every gene in a nematode and find its representative in human. And vice versa.


That sort of blows my mind a little.
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:44 AM   #3
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What I also find fascinating is that genes can change function during evolution - see Dramatic Change in Function and Expression Pattern of a Gene Duplicated by Polyploidy Created a Paternal Effect Gene in the Brassicaceae ? Mol Biol Evol for an example.
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