PLoS Biology: Prehistoric Yeast DNA Study Unveil the Controversial Point of Theory of Evolution
There once was a hit topic assumed that might we could clone dinosaur by the fossil they left, on one hand to explored the evolvement history, on the other hand to take back the pre-history amazing animals though later scientist confirmed that the half-decay period of DNA is 521 years, which suggested dinosaur being extinct before 65 million years is far away from being cloned.
While recently researchers from VIB, KU Leuven, UGent, and Harvard report that they have succeeded in reconstructing DNA and proteins from prehistoric yeast cells. This made it possible to determine how genes developed and evolved into their current form over more than 100 million years.
There is an important unanswered question in Darwin’s theory of evolution which wonders how new characteristics seem to appear out of nowhere. Such innovations appear to contradict the principle of gradual change. Yet scientists, who understand that many “inventions” took place during the evolution of life, do not know which processes form the basis of this evolutionary innovation. Scientists want to find out the answer but there is actually no prehistoric DNA sequence or proteins have been conserved.
Using a combination of the latest techniques in biology, the scientists Karin Voordeckers, Chris Brown, and Kevin Verstrepen from VIB in Leuven, together with Steven Maere (VIB/UGent), succeeded in rebuilding the DNA and proteins of prehistoric yeast cells. The researchers used sequence reconstruction algorithms to predict the DNA sequence of ancestral genes from dozens of present-day DNA sequences to rebuild the corresponding ancestral proteins.
Kevin Verstrepen, from VIB/KU Leuven said, “Many scientists have proposed that the new functional DNA does not appear out of thin air, but is built up gradually from a copy of an existing segment of functional DNA. By reconstructing a piece of prehistoric DNA that was copied several times during evolution, we were able to investigate the changes that occur in each of the copies and which gradually lead to new functions.” These research results made the controversial point regarding theory of evolution: the chance of the occurrence of a new characteristic, for example, a functional new segment of DNA from scratch is similar to the chance of a modern jumbo jet assembling spontaneously from a few pieces of scrap metal be clear.
During the research, researchers found that the primal gene that codes for the protein for the digestion of maltose was copied a number of times during evolution. The DNA of some copies changed slightly, resulting in new proteins that could break down different sugars. By modeling these changes in the corresponding proteins, they understand how just a few changes in the DNA can lead to the development of new activity in the corresponding proteins. As a result, they think this type of duplication of the DNA often forms the basis of the emergence of apparently new proteins.
The research was published online on the lately PLoS Biology.