A Virus May Have Helped Evolve Humans And All Complex Life On Earth

Credit: Miroslava Chrienova from Pixabay

Scientists have identified the first evidence known to infect a collection of microorganisms that may comprise the origins of all advanced life. New avenues for research into the concept that viruses were vital to the development of sophisticated living forms are opened up as a result of this amazing finding.

Eukaryotes, which include people, starfish, and trees—all of which have living cells with a cell nucleus and thus are referred to as eukaryotes—are thought to have been created when bacteria and archiecea united to produce a new creature that had both characteristics. Eukaryotes are indeed the immediate offspring of Asgard archaea, according to recent studies.

Viruses may have had a role in the evolution of multicellular life, according to one theory. In complement to archaea & bacteria, viruses may have supplied genetic material to the evolution of eukaryotes. In spite of this recent revelation, there is still no conclusive answer to the question at hand.

Able to infect our microbial ancestors, they are novel pathogens that are distinct from the ones we’ve previously discovered in archaea as well as eukaryotes. Deep marine deposits and hot springs throughout the globe are home to the Asgard archaea, that likely formed over two billion years ago and those whose offspring are still alive. However, just one type has been effectively produced in a laboratory.

Researchers gather environmental and genetic information and then build together genomes to identify these organisms. CRISPR arrays, which carry little fragments of viral Genome that can be accurately linked to viruses having chronically infected these bacteria, were searched for in the Asgard genes in this current research.

Genomic footprints helped researchers to track down these elusive viral intruders, which infect species that play crucial roles in eukaryotic evolution.

William Reid
A science writer through and through, William Reid’s first starting working on offline local newspapers. An obsessive fascination with all things science/health blossomed from a hobby into a career. Before hopping over to Optic Flux, William worked as a freelancer for many online tech publications including ScienceWorld, JoyStiq and Digg. William serves as our lead science and health reporter.