Scientists at the University of California have found evidence that early life forms may have evolved from a simple virus.
This new study may help us understand how life has evolved on this planet for over a billion years.
This mystery of life has even gotten us to the point of studying distant planets other than our own. We have sent missions to Mars in search of life. We have observed distant planets using ground-based and space-based telescopes.
But this new study from the research team may draw us back to finding more about how life may have started on earth.
A virus hijacks a living cell and occupies its nuclei. This allows the virus to reprogram the cell's DNA. By doing that, a bacterial cell can turn into an animal or plant cell.
By using fluorescent markers to the bacterial host cells, the research team can track how the viral infection progresses.
They discovered that different viral proteins positioned themselves inside the bacterial cells that is similar to a nucleus of a human cell. Outside the nucleus, viral shells are formed to protect the entire structure and to ensure the replicating properties of the virus.
In the theory of viral eukaryogenesis
, it is believed that higher cells emerged when viruses that took over bacterial cells evolved to form to form a nucleus.
The researchers believe that this study may also be applied to the study on animal and human viral diseases.
is published in Science
See: 1 Million-Year Old Bacteria, Antibiotic-Resistant Found in Cave Disputes Old Belief