My watch list
my.chemeurope.com  
Login  

The power of many

Three billion years ago, more or less, life crossed a threshold and began moving toward a multicellular existence. Evidence from multiple directions is showing how this hard-to-fathom leap might have been less difficult than once believed. The evolutionary histories of some groups of organisms record numerous transitions from single-celled to multicellular forms, suggesting the hurdles could not have been so high. Genetic comparisons between simple multicellular organisms and their single-celled relatives have revealed that much of the molecular equipment needed for cells to band together and coordinate their activities may have been in place well before multicellularity evolved. And clever experiments have shown that in the test tube, single-celled life can evolve the beginnings of multicellularity in just a few hundred generations—an evolutionary instant. The end result: the incredible diversity of life seen today.

Authors:   Elizabeth Pennisi
Journal:   Science
Volume:   360
edition:   6396
Year:   2018
Pages:   1388
DOI:   10.1126/science.360.6396.1388
Publication date:   29-Jun-2018
Facts, background information, dossiers
  • Single
  • cells
More about Science International / AAAS
  • Publications

    Random number generators go public

    On 10 July, researchers in Chile will unveil an online public random number service. Later in July, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will launch its Randomness Beacon as a permanent service, upgrading a pilot program that began in 2013. Brazil, too, is planning ... more

    When the cure kills—CBD limits biodiversity research

    The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) commits its 196 nation parties to conserve biological diversity, use its components sustainably, and share fairly and equitably the benefits from the utilization of genetic resources. The last of these objectives was further codified in the Conve ... more

    See-through solar cells could power offices

    Solar windows turn some of the light shining through into electricity. They've been on the market for years. But many of these windows absorb some visible light, leaving them with a reddish or brownish hue, a trait frowned on by architects. Now, new versions are on the way that absorb invis ... more

  • News

    It's Not an Illusion

    Researchers have developed a compound that can transform near-infrared light into broadband white-light, offering a cheap, efficient means to produce visible light. The emitted light is also exceedingly directional, a desirable quality for devices like microscopes that require high spatial ... more

Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE