(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists from the University of California, Riverside have examined supposed living creatures from ancient Earth to figure out what simple alien life might look like.
Early life forms on Earth are known to have lived in an atmosphere with low oxygen content and little to no energy. Sunlight was the only form of energy.
For energy, organisms used special proteins called rhodopsins.
Following the evolution of rhodopsins, the authors of the study built a genealogical tree of these proteins. They were able to reconstruct rhodopsins between 2.5 and 4 billion years old.
Scientists have identified differences between ancient and modern rhodopsins. According to genetic reconstructions, ancient rhodopsins predominantly absorbed blue and green light, while modern representatives absorb blue, green, yellow and orange.
With their help, they learned to extract energy from sunlight, but this method is less efficient than photosynthesis.
However, scientists were able to trace the development of rhodopsin proteins and reconstruct them.
It is reported that astronomers now have an idea of what the simplest life, which is just emerging, might look like. This will make it easier for them to find new living organisms.
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