Massive tentacled microbe may be direct ancestor of all complex life

By | December 23, 2022

Ancient microbes whose existence predates the rise of nucleus-carrying cells on Earth may hold the secrets to how such complex cells first came to be. Now, for the first time, scientists have grown a large enough quantity of these microbes in the lab to study their internal structure in detail, Science reports (opens in new tab).

Researchers grew an organism called Lokiarchaeum ossiferumwhich belongs to a group of microbes known as Asgard archaea, according to a new report, published Wednesday (Dec. 21) in the journal Nature (opens in new tab). Named after the abode of the gods in Norse mythology, Asgard archaea are thought by some scientists to be the closest evolutionary relatives of eukaryotescells that package their DNA in a protective bubble called a nucleus.

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