The Origin of Complex Life: Scientists Uncover New Hints

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How were complex organisms like ourselves able to form? How and why did life began in the first place? Is there life elsewhere in the Universe? How more complex can life actually get? Will humanity still be around after millions or billions of years? Those are just some of the multitude of questions that we can ask about life.

In other words, scientists still have a lot more to learn about how life works, especially when we’re talking about complex life forms. But the good news is that they never seem to stop looking for answers.

What do we have to do with Thor?

According to groundbreaking research that appeared in the scientific journal Nature, humans, along with various complex organisms such as eagles, starfish, and daisies, share a common origin with the mythological Norse god Thor – they are all Asgardians. SciTechDaily tells us about the study, which was conducted by The University of Texas at Austin and other institutions, which analyzed the genomic data of archaea microorganisms. The findings revealed that eukaryotes, which include all complex life forms that have nuclei in their cells, can trace their ancestry back to a common Asgard archaean ancestor. In other words, eukaryotes form a well-nested clade within Asgard archaea, similar to how birds are a subgroup within dinosaurs.

The Asgard archaea evolved over 2 billion years ago and are still found nowadays, especially in deep-sea sediments and hot springs. The researchers identified the closest microbial relative to complex life forms as a newly described order called the Hodarchaeales (Hods for short). The Hodarchaeales are metabolically more similar to eukaryotes, suggesting a connection between their functions and the evolution of complex life. The study found that Asgards, such as eukaryotes, have many genes with multiple copies in their genomes, which may have played a significant role in driving evolution.

Interestingly, scientists have discovered eukaryotic proteins in archaea, raising questions about their functions in such microorganisms. The new research opens up new avenues of exploration in understanding the origins and evolutionary connections between complex life forms and their ancient Asgardian ancestors.

Tommy’s hobby has always been playing video games. He enjoys competing in video games tournaments and writing about his experience. It’s not a big surprise that he mostly covers the latest trends from the gaming industry.