Apr 21, 2024

Two lifeforms merge in once-in-a-billion-years evolutionary event

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Scientists have caught a once-in-a-billion-years evolutionary event in progress, as two lifeforms have merged into one organism that boasts abilities its peers would envy. Last time this happened, Earth got plants.

The phenomenon is called primary endosymbiosis, and it occurs when one microbial organism engulfs another, and starts using it like an internal organ. In exchange, the host cell provides nutrients, energy, protection and other benefits to the symbiote, until eventually it can no longer survive on its own and essentially ends up becoming an organ for the host – or what’s known as an organelle in microbial cells.

Imagine if kidneys were actually little animals running around, and humans had to manually filter their blood through a dialysis machine. Then one day some guy somehow gets one of these kidney critters stuck… Internally (who are we to judge how?) – and realizes he no longer needs his dialysis machine. Neither do his kids, until eventually we’re all born with these helpful little fellas inside us. That’s kind of what’s happening here.

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