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All Species Evolved From Single Cell, Study Finds

May 14

All life on Earth evolved from a single-celled organism that lived roughly 3.5 billion years ago, a new study seems to confirm.

The study supports the widely held “universal common ancestor” theory first proposed by Charles Darwin more than 150 years ago.

Using computer models and statistical methods, biochemist Douglas Theobald calculated the odds that all species from the three main groups, or “domains,” of life evolved from a common ancestor—versus, say, descending from several different life-forms or arising in their present form, Adam and Eve style.

The domains are bacteria, bacteria-like microbes called Archaea, and eukaryotes, the group that includes plants and other multicellular species, such as humans.

The “best competing multiple ancestry hypothesis” has one species giving rise to bacteria and one giving rise to Archaea and eukaryotes, said Theobald, a biochemist at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

via All Species Evolved From Single Cell, Study Finds.

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