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Old 07-16-2012, 11:36 PM   #152
Anti Hero
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Default Scientists bring 500 million-year-old bacteria back to life



Quote:
A 500 million-year-old bacteria has been brought back to life in a laboratory at Georgia Tech in an experiment with echoes of Jurassic Park's disastrous recreation of the dinosaurs.
The researchers have resurrected a 500-million-year-old gene and inserted it into a modern E Coli bacteria.
The 'Frankenstein' germ has thrived. In the lab, the creation has now lived through 1,000 generations.
The scientists hope to find out whether the 'ancient' bacteria will evolve the same way it did 'first time round' - or whether it will evolve into a different, new organism.
‘This is as close as we can get to rewinding and replaying the molecular tape of life,’ said scientist Betül Kaçar, a NASA astrobiology postdoctoral fellow in Georgia Tech.
The new 'chimeric' bacteria has mutated rapidly - and some have become stronger and healthier than today's germs.
‘The ability to observe an ancient gene in a modern organism as it evolves within a modern cell allows us to see whether the evolutionary trajectory once taken will repeat itself or whether a life will adapt following a different path.’

‘The altered organism wasn’t as healthy or fit as its modern-day version, at least initially,’ said Gaucher, ‘and this created a perfect scenario that would allow the altered organism to adapt and become more fit as it accumulated mutations with each passing day.’

The growth rate eventually increased and, after the first 500 generations, the scientists sequenced the genomes of all eight lineages to determine how the bacteria adapted.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...#ixzz20qbAWinb

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