(ORDO NEWS) — Close relatives of humans turned out to be sea anemones or anemones of the species (Nematostella vectensis) – creatures that appeared on Earth 748-604 million years ago.
We found a common gene with them – POU-IV. It was discovered by scientists from an international team led by biologist Nagayasu Nakanishi from the University of Arkansas. What was reported in the scientific journal e-life, to which the ScienceAlert portal refers.
In humans, this same POU-IV encodes hair cells, the mechanosensory receptors of the auditory system. They perceive vibrations – that is, sound waves. Thanks to such cells, and primarily to the gene that is responsible for their appearance and development, people hear. Otherwise, they would remain deaf.
The POU-IV gene endowed a kind of hearing and sea anemones, which also form hair cells. But not in the ears – anemones have no ears, but on the tentacles. Due to which creatures perceive movement, react to touch.
The scientists clarified the role of POU-IV using mutant anemones that had the gene disabled using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool. The mutants did not respond to mechanical stimuli.
Nakanishi called his research exciting. Because, as he explained, the understanding came that “the building blocks of our hearing have ancient evolutionary roots going back hundreds of millions of years to the Precambrian.”
That is, once we were all such anemones, we heard with tentacles and lived on the seabed.
By the way, both we and our distant Precambrian ancestors belong to animals with bilateral symmetry. Also, apparently, it is no coincidence.
Ancestor of all ancestors
Scientists have found a mushroom that lived a billion years ago. It is possible that everything originated from him. Including people
A billion years – it’s scary to even think – such an ancient mushroom turned out to be found in the North of Canada.
Its fossilized remains were examined by scientists led by Corentin C. Loron from the University of Liege (Early Life Traces & Evolution–Astrobiology Laboratory, UR Astrobiology, Geology Department, University of Liege, Belgium).
The forerunner fungus turned out to be about 600 million years – almost an eternity – older than its counterparts from among those that came across before.
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