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Thread: WOW - Jump from unicellular to multicellular life seen in lab!!!

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    Forum User Feedback Score 0 Telionis's Avatar
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    Thumbs up WOW - Jump from unicellular to multicellular life seen in lab!!!

    Holy crap, for biologists this has to be one of the most relevant discoveries in the last few decades!!! Exactly how multicellular life arose from unicellular organisms has been somewhat of an enigma to biologists since the discovery of the Ediacaran and Cambrian explosions... We had theories but obviously had never seen it happen. No longer!

    Lab yeast make evolutionary leap to multicellularity - life - 23 June 2011 - New Scientist

    Eventually, they even evolved a cellular division of labor and apoptosis (programmed death of old cells to protect others around it) exactly as predicted. Freaking amazing.

    I support the "Gay Jihad" against Rick Santorum!

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    Now with more poop-smear Not Verified Feedback Score 8 (100%) IPD's Avatar
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    in for the inevitable venik rebuttle about how ID > evolution.

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    LW fears my posts Not Verified Feedback Score 1 (100%)
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    Quote Originally Posted by inperfectdarkness View Post
    in for the inevitable venik rebuttle about how ID > evolution.
    LOL

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    Interesting find. But if this is so profound, why does Ratcliff's colleague state that most likely the cell had the genetic information already programmed for "multi-cellularity". It sounds like Ratcliff found cells that exist both in multicelluar and unicellular forms, and then reproduced them over and over removing the cells that are unicellular by centrifugation, and then watched them continue to reproduce as they had from day one. That's not evolution. That's how we separate cells that are heavy. Now... this would be very interesting if the only cells he had placed in medium were uni-cellular in genetics to start with. But, they're not. Fungi are essentially of the same family, all of which have genetics that can have mutli-cellular structure. I believe that he was working with, Saccharomyces cerviseae, "Brewer's Yeast", and I believe that's what his next experiment is supposed to be on something completely different that doesn't share lineage with multi-cellular organisms. But by definition yeast cells under stress can have multi-cellular structure, that's how you get spores, and pseudohyphae, and all that goodness. Like most fungus, his experiment was causing stress on a uni-cellular organsim, that under stress can become multi-cellular.

    I know that evolutionary biology grabs at anything that looks like evolution, but let's try to stay grounded on science. This experiment has flaws, and they need to be addressed before we proclaim that this experiment expresses unicellular -> multi-cellular evolution. At this point in time, it looks to only exhibits NORMAL yeast/fungus characteristics.

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    Forum User Feedback Score 0 Telionis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by durtycheez View Post
    I know that evolutionary biology grabs at anything that looks like evolution, but let's try to stay grounded on science. This experiment has flaws, and they need to be addressed before we proclaim that this experiment expresses unicellular -> multi-cellular evolution. At this point in time, it looks to only exhibits NORMAL yeast/fungus characteristics.
    From what I've understood, S. cerevisiae has not had a multicellular ancestor for tens of millions of years. These are absolutely not normal results for any member of the Saccharomyces genus. However, you are right that the possibility of their reactivating once silenced genes for cell adhesion and apoptosis cannot be completely dismissed. The next experiment will be done with Chlamydomonas, a genus of green algae with no known multicellular relatives or ancestors.

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    Truw. =] I believe that Saccharomyces does have multicellular genetics though, at least under stress. This was seen in both a study done by MIT and a study in Israel. Regardless, I think the green algae experiment if successful will have a remarkable impact.

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    Interesting stuff.

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