HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
'Fossil genes' reveal how life sheds form and function

MADISON - Reading the fossil record, a paleontologist can peer into evolutionary history and see the surface features that plants and animals and, occasionally, microbes have left behind.

Now, scouring the genome of a Japanese yeast, scientists have found a trackway of fossil genes in the making, providing a rare look at how an organism, in response to the demands of its environment, has changed its inner chemistry and lost the ability to metabolize a key sugar.

The finding is a snapshot of evolution at work showing, at the most fundamental level, how traits and features are discarded by virtually all forms of life when they are no longer needed.

"Many people think evolution is always happening in a forward direction," that new features are just tacked on, says Sean B. Carroll, a professor of molecular biology at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "The other side of the coin is that we lose things. Losses as well as gains make up the story of evolution."

Writing Sept. 20, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Carroll and colleagues Chris Todd Hittinger and Antonis Rokas describe the discovery of a set of seven genes caught in the act of fossilization.

In the Japanese yeast, known to scientists as Saccharomyces kudriavzevii, the Wisconsin scientists found the decaying genes that, when intact, are all functionally related and make up a pathway that permits the organism to convert the sugar galactose to energy.

The same pathway, among the most studied in biology, exists not only in yeasts, but also in virtually all other microbes, as well as plants and animals, including humans. Their sole function is devoted to the utilization of galactose, suggesting that the yeast experienced an ecological shift that somehow removed galactose from the organism's menu, thereby making the galactose-processing genes obsolete.

The relic genes, according to Hittinge
'"/>

Contact: Sean B. Carroll
sbcarrol@wisc.edu
608-262-6191
University of Wisconsin-Madison
20-Sep-2004


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. New strategies against disease revealed as scientists probe genes tasks
2. UGA researcher comments on her teams discovery of the first jumping genes in rice
3. Scientists find first active jumping genes in rice
4. Sciences top ten: Discovery of genes control switches named top advance of 2002
5. It may take a mouse to understand the behavior of jumping genes
6. Jumping genes create ripples in the genome - and perhaps species evolution
7. Sloppy genes behave like their neighbours
8. DNA lends scientists a hand, revealing new chemical reactions
9. Award winning researchers reveal potential new role for Glivec
10. Hidden diversity: DNA barcoding reveals a common butterfly is actually 10 different species
11. Anthrax enzyme images reveal secrets of antibiotic resistance, suggest new drug design

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 16, 2020 , ... ... effectiveness of the Invictus Medical Neoasis™ active noise control device to attenuate typical ... that the Neoasis™ device attenuated the alarm sounds from patient monitors, ventilators and ...
(Date:7/4/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Aesthetics Biomedical (ABM), a leading aesthetics product ... only the products and treatments developed, but also the dedicated team behind the ... brands built by ABM have received several honors already for 2020, each of ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... VENICE, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... July 01, 2020 ... ... focused on building awareness and solutions for glioblastoma—the most common and aggressive adult ... and Lisa Haile, JD, PhD. Senior Fellows are charged with supporting the organization’s ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... ... eSource has long been touted as the solution to high data management ... reasons it did not take off as quickly as people initially expected, and where ... towards capturing data electronically for clinical trials and then repurposing it for downstream analysis, ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 30, 2020 , ... ... today announced the release of its signature product called Beacon - a ... and other field medical professionals. , Beacon helps MSLs streamline communication ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... ... After research model surgery and catheter implantation, the long journey of catheter ... of a successful study, while protecting and accessing the catheter or device post-surgery is ... from Envigo in a live webinar on Wednesday, August 5, ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 16, 2020 , ... Medial ... early detection and prevention of high-burden diseases, and Centric Consulting, a business and ... organizations to utilize existing data in order to identify and prioritize patients for ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: