Ancient Life ‘Re-Evolves’ in Georgia Lab
Georgia Tech researchers say they’ve resurrected a 500-million-year-old gene from bacteria and inserted it into modern-day Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. The resurrected bacterium has been growing for more than 1,000 generations, providing scientists a chance to observe evolution in action, the university announced.
“This is as close as we can get to rewinding and replaying the molecular tape of life,” scientist Betul Kacar said of the effort, dubbed paleo-experimental evolution. “The ability to observe an ancient gene in a modern organism as it evolves within a modern cell allows us to see whether the evolutionary trajectory once taken will repeat itself or whether a life will adapt following a different path.”