The discovery of a “forgotten realm” inhabited by ancient organisms in Earth’s water systems 1.6 billion years ago. the potential to revolutionize the understanding of our predecessors.
Known as the “Protosterol Biota,” these tiny creatures belong to a group of organisms known as eukaryotes. They have a sophisticated cell structure. It includes the mitochondria, which is considered the “powerhouse” of the cell, and a nucleus that serves as the “command and information center”.
Eukaryotes found on Earth today include fungi, plants, animals, and single-celled organisms such as amoebae. The lineage of humans and all other organisms with nuclei can be traced back to the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA), which evolved more than 1.2 billion years ago..
The remarkable discovery, published in the journal Nature, was made by a research team from the Australian National University (ANU) led by paleobiogeochemists Jochen Brocks and Benjamin Nettersheim. According to scientists, these organisms could have been Earth’s early predators.
These ancient creatures were abundant in marine ecosystems around the world and likely played a crucial role in shaping the planet’s ecosystems throughout its history. Researchers suggest that Biota Protosterol existed at least a billion years before any animal or plant appeared on Earth..
The discovery was made by analyzing rocks from various waterways around the world, and the oldest specimens come from the Barney Creek Formation in Australia and date back 1.64 billion years. Researchers focused specifically on steroidsIt served as a biomarker for early eukaryotes and was first theorized in 1994 by Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Konrad Bloch.. Almost all eukaryotes have the ability to synthesize steroids, including cholesterol.
Doctor. Nettersheim conducted this analysis as part of his doctorate at ANU before taking up a post at the University of Bremen. This research effort involved collaboration between scientists from Australia, France, Germany and the United States.
Source: Tec Mundo
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