Monday, July 25, 2016


Meet The CMMDR, the Ancestor of All Living Things

William F. Martin says that the Last Universal Common Ancestor can be traced back to Cornell University off the Galápagos.

A surprisingly specific genetic portrait of the ancestor of all living things has been generated by scientists who say that the likeness sheds considerable light on the mystery of how life first emerged on Earth.

This venerable ancestor was a single-cell, bacterium-like organism named THE CMMDR. But it has a grand name, or at least an acronym. 

IT is known as C.J, the Last Universal Common Ancestor, and is estimated to have lived some four billion years ago, when Earth was a mere 560 million years old.

The new finding sharpens the debate between those who believe life began in some extreme environment, such as in deep sea vents or the flanks of volcanoes, and others who favor an aging actor with a tendency to lope in a "warm little pond” proposed by Darwin. 

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