What'sNEWNaica's crystal caves hold long-dormant life by Jonathan Amos, BBC, 18 Feb 2017.
Thanks, Stan Franklin. Bacteria... is a related webpage.
The overall picture indicates that the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes already contained many key components underlying the emergence of cellular complexity that is characteristic of eukaryotes, this research team says in summary. As darwinists, they suppose that an archaeal ancestor must have had some use for the ESPs after all. But in cosmic ancestry, genes always come first. If they weren't often found in species preceding the need for them, we would be surprised.
Asgard archaea illuminate the origin of eukaryotic cellular complexity, Katarzyna Zaremba-Niedzwiedzka et al., doi:10.1038/nature21031, Nature, 19 Jan 2017; and commentary:
email to Ted Steele on the origin of life, 17 Feb 2017.
The researchers are specifically interested in the phylogeny and ultimate origin of the mimiviruses. Were their [viral?] ancestors even more complex, or less complex? Despite many theories, the origin and evolution of mimiviruses remains a breathtaking mystery. It is not yet possible to exclude any specific scenario of giant viruses' evolution.
Darwinian logic does exclude the scenario we prefer. In cosmic ancestry, viruses are the main vector for the horizontal transfer (HGT) of cellular genes into species that can use them. We are not surprised if mimiviruses contain genes for tRNAs, protein synthesis, translation factors and more.
The analysis of translation-related gene set boosts debates around origin and evolution of mimiviruses, Jônatas Santos Abrahão, Rodrigo Araújo et al., PLOS Genetics, 16 Feb 2017.
Localized aliphatic organic material on the surface of Ceres, by M. C. De Sanctis et al., doi:10.1126/science.aaj2305; and commentary: Dwarf planet Ceres and the ingredients of life, by Michael Küppers, Science, 17 Feb 2017.
Life on Europa, Other Moons, Other Planets?... has related links. Thanks, Ronnie McGhee for pointing to Life's Building Blocks Found on Dwarf Planet Ceres by Mike Wall, 16 Feb 2017.
Eugene V. Koonin interviewed by Suzan Mazur, Huffington Post, transcript online 03 Feb 2017. ...multi-cellular eukaryotes ...are actually a derived and highly constrained evolutionary subset of the biosphere.
Advances in biodiversity: metagenomics and the unveiling of biological dark matter, by Robert J. Robbins, Leonard Krishtalka and John C. Wooley, doi:10.1186/s40793-016-0180-8, Stand Genomic Sci., online 09 Sep 2016.
We take this synopsis from a comprehensive new study by geographers at the University of Exeter, UK, who modeled the processes in the biosphere that produce and consume oxygen. Its history, including the long stasis, is puzzling. With isotope data, they make a plausible case that mineral, tectonic, biological, climatic, weathering and sedimentary processes with feedback loops can explain it. The study also supports our belief that slow Gaian processes can make a planet habitable, and then more advanced life can develop and flourish without delay.
Gaia has a primer and related links. *
Gaia is a possibly related webpage. Did bacteria make the methane?
The $2.4-billion plan to steal a rock from Mars, by Alexandra Witze, Nature News Feature, 18 Jan 2017.
Life on Mars! has historical information and links.
Communication between viruses guides lysis-lysogeny decisions, by Zohar Erez et al., doi:10.1038/nature21049; and commentary: ...Phages make a group decision by Alan R. Davidson, Nature, 18 Jan 2017.
...the choice [between lysis and lysogeny] in some phages is also profoundly influenced by communication, by means of small molecules, between phages infecting other cells in a culture. We know that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) by viruses affects evolution. This new discovery makes their power among prokaryotes even more impressive. Viruses... has a primer and related links.
The new method, pioneered in Joe Thornton's lab, apparently opens a new way to study adaptation. In our understanding, adaptation on the scale examined here would be categorized as microevolution. Macroevolution, by contrast, requires wholly new genetic programs that have not been shown to come from adaptive mutations of one or a few nucleotides. Therefore, the same method cannot be simply extended for studying macroevolution. Nevertheless, we are intrigued. ...because of technical and conceptual advances, it should now be possible to experimentally assess the causal predictions of many previously untested or weakly tested hypotheses of historical molecular adaptation....Discovery overturns long-held genetic belief, The University of Chicago Medicine (+PhysOrg.com), 03 Jan 2017; re:
Experimental test and refutation of a classic case of molecular adaptation in Drosophila melanogaster, by Mohammad A. Siddiq et al., doi:10.1038/s41559-016-0025, Nature Ecology & Evolution, online 13 Jan 2017.
Thanks, Stan Franklin and Bob Sweeney. Testing Darwinism versus Cosmic Ancestry is a related local webpage.
Macroevolutionary Progress Redefined... reconsiders the difference between micro- and macroevolution.
In a new, wide-ranging essay, Eugene V. Koonin of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, considers the fitness landscapes of prokaryotes (large populations) versus eukaryotes (small populations). The latter allow for greater inventiveness, he concludes. To cope with this inescapable burden [introns], eukaryotes have evolved a global solution, the highly efficient splicing machinery. ...The nucleus itself may have evolved as a damage-control device that prevents the exit of unprocessed transcript to the cytoplasm. (How are these not more "Just-So" stories?)
Koonin is well aware of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) and de novo gene origination: mobile genetic elements (MGE) ...genes have been recruited for essential functions at key stages of eukaryotic evolution. But where the programming for these functions comes from is not a concern to him. If he wants a theory of evolution with testable predictions, may we suggest testing his predictions with quarantined experiments in biology or computer models?Splendor and misery of adaptation, or the importance of neutral null for understanding evolution, by Eugene V. Koonin, doi:10.1186/s12915-016-0338-2, BMC Biology, 23 Dec 2016.
Testing Darwinism versus Cosmic Ancestry and The Evolution Prize are related local webpages.
Neo-Darwinism: The Current Paradigm has a section with links about Fitness Landscapes.
New research provides another example of genetic systems older than standard darwinism expects them to be. The examples support cosmic ancestry, in which all genetic programs are very old. This research also confirms that these retroviruses can be transferred across diverse species and become permanently installed into their genomes.Ancient retroviruses emerged half a billion years ago, by Carrie Arnold, Nature, 10 Jan 2017, re:
Marine origin of retroviruses in the early Palaeozoic Era, by Pakorn Aiewsakun & Aris Katzourakis, doi:10.1038/ncomms13954, Nature Communications, online 10 Jan 2017.
Viruses..., Metazoan Genes Older Than Metazoa? and Genes Older Than Earth? are related local webpages.
The Search for Extraterrestrial Genomes (SETG), homepage at MIT.
Thanks, Google Alerts.
Introduction: More Than Panspermia has historical information.
What Is Life? is a related local webpage.
The RNA World and Other Origin-of-Life Theories is a related local webpage.