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When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 

 

Peter Diamandis

Yeast suggests speedy start for multicellular life

RATE THIS! +4
Posted in Science on 18th Jan, 2012 08:32 PM by APM

The origin of multicellular life, one of the most important developments in Earth’s history, could have occurred with surprising speed, US researchers have shown. In the lab, a single-celled yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) took less than 60 days to evolve into many-celled clusters that behaved as individuals. The clusters even developed a primitive division of labour, with some cells dying so that others could grow and reproduce.

 

The study, by William Ratcliff and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota in St Paul, is published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1. Referring to the origin of multicellularity, Richard Lenski, an evolutionary biologist from Michigan State University in East Lansing who was not involved in the study, says: “This has long been viewed as difficult transition, but these experiments show it might not be quite as difficult as assumed.”Ratcliff came up with the concept for the experiment with his colleague Michael Travisano. “We were talking about the coolest work that we could do,” says Ratcliff. “We ruled out the origin of life as too difficult, but thought that evolving multicellularity would be feasible.”

 

Ratcliff came up with the concept for the experiment with his colleague Michael Travisano. “We were talking about the coolest work that we could do,” says Ratcliff. “We ruled out the origin of life as too difficult, but thought that evolving multicellularity would be feasible.”



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Comments

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