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 Scientists create multicellular life using gravity/pressure 
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RIP Killer
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Post Scientists create multicellular life using gravity/pressure
Scientists create multicellular life using gravity and pressure

A team of scientists have reportedly performed an experiment which has led to the creation of a single-celled organism, brewer’s yeast, to evolve into a multicellular cluster, mimicking one of the first stages of evolution on Earth.

The experiment is likely to shed light on life’s revolutionary move from microbes to multicellularity, and later to humans and planets. The results could also shed light on issues such as aging and cancer.

“This is actually simple. It doesn’t need mystical complexity or a lot of the things that people have hypothesized — special genes, a huge genome, very unnatural conditions,” said evolutionary biologist Michael Travisano of the University of Minnesota, co-author of a study, which is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Multicellular life has evolved independently at least 25 times, but these transitions took place so long ago that they have been difficult to study, said researchers. The latest experiment sought to to see if they could evolve multicellularity in a single-celled organism, using gravity as the selective pressure.

The team of scientists began by dumping unicellular yeast into a tube of liquid food, waiting a few minutes for the cells to settle, and then extracting the lowest fraction of the liquid, which allowed the cells to form the another generation. The team noted that artificial selection made it more advantageous for yeast to cooperate than to be solitary, which ultimately led to the creation of multicellular entities.

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January 18th, 2012, 3:36 pm
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