500-million year old gene resurrected
Betül Kaçar, from the american university Georgia Tech, has resurrected a 500-million-year-old gene and inserted it into modern-day Escherichia coli. After 500 generations, the chimeric bacterium was even healthier than wild bacteria. The research was presented at the recent NASA International Astrobiology Science Conference. "We think that this process will allow us to address several longstanding questions in evolutionary and molecular biology," said Kaçar. "Among them, we want to know if an organism's history limits its future and if evolution always leads to a single, defined point or whether evolution has multiple solutions to a given problem."