Watchful eyes, thoughtful mind

Earth and us ….. past, present and future ….. connected?

Extreme conditions, extreme response February 27, 2009

Filed under: biology,evolution,genetics — Radiance @ 11:05 AM

[Image source: supplementary material for the paper published on Nature website.]

An article on Physorg.com that I thought was worth sharing reports the new findings in the field of cell multiplication that could provide another window to look at the origins of life. “All living cells on the planet go through the process of division in order to survive and thrive. Cell division, or binary fission, allows one cell to split down the middle to become two cells.

In the work published in Nature, Newcastle University scientists have found that under some conditions, including treatment with antibiotics, common bacteria switch to a whole new way of increasing in number that may have been used by the first cells to evolve on the planet.” The research carried out by Newcastle University team led by Professor Jeff Errington have seen the bacteria forced to live without their cell wall multiply by “squirting out babies”, as many as 5 at a time! Extreme conditions call for extreme response.

These results have also lead the researchers to believe that this mechanism should be considered as an alternative when investigating the origins of life on Earth. The conditions on this planet were quite extreme when the life made its first appearance.

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