LUCA latest (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 13:24 (540 days ago) @ David Turell

George: Saw this and thought of you:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/science/last-universal-ancestor.html?_r=1

Latest ideas from genetics on LUCA (last universal common ancestor).
Seems it probably lived in deep sea vents, rather than a Darwinian pond.
Still a lot of explanation needed as to how it appeared though.


DAVID: Thank you George. A great article. I have published a number of articles on the vents. Certainly a likely spot to start life.

My thanks, too. You probably won't have been following our discussion on David's theory that all the information needed for evolution may have been present from the beginning, and innovations are caused by loss of information. In this context, I was struck by the following quote:

"He argues that Luca is very close to the origin of life itself. The organism is missing so many genes necessary for life that it must still have been relying on chemical components from its environment."

I don't know about you, but I find it pretty hard to imagine our poor old LUCA sweltering in his deep sea vent, lacking all those genes, and yet at the same time possessing all the information needed to become an Eskimo living in Alaska.


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