Newly Discovered Microbes, May Explain the Origin of Complex Life

Source: Mike White of TrendinTech

Date: 13FEB2017


Summary: A team of scientists discovered a new archaeon that could be the closest living relative to eukaryotes.  Four lineages total have been found so far that fall under the Asgardian classification (the name given to these archaea).

Connection: We’ve discussed the lineage of bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes and how they are similar/different.

Analysis: As far as relating to a crowd unfamiliar with microbiology, I felt this article did a pretty decent job in explaining some background.  They for instance give a brief description of Earth and how early Earth did not have eukaryotes, and then go into how they are and could be related.  They also hypothesize that these Asgardians are a possible precursor of sorts to eukaryotes. They even provide a picture demonstrating this.  It was also interesting to note that these archaea have been found all over the world, not just in a single localized area.

Question: The article did not go into great detail, but it made me curious as to what exactly these archaea in particular have in common with eukaryotes.