(EFE) – The history of life on earth, from its origin to our days, could be explained in a linear way thanks to a combination of genomic and fossil data in a study published on August 20 in nature.
The research, led by scientists at the British University of Bristol, aimed to show the evolution of the planet "as a whole", despite the fact that the fossil record of early life is "extremely fragmented and degraded", according to experts .
"The problem with the first fossil record of life is that it is very limited and difficult to interpret, and a new and careful analysis of some of the oldest fossils proved in fact to be crystals, not fossils," declared the head of the research, Holly Betts, in the British scientific journal.
But fossils were not the only analyzed elements to unite all the pieces of years and years of evolution.
"Fossils are not the only evidence to understand the past." A second record of life has been preserved in the genome of all living beings, "added Professor Philip Donoghue, co-author of the research.
Based on this, those responsible for the analysis decided to combine the fossil and genome data to develop a timeline on the history of life on our planet, without being dependent on the "ever-changing" fossil evidence.
"By combining this information, we could use an approach called a molecular clock that is based on the idea that the number of differences between the genomes of two living species (eg a human and a bacterium) is proportional to time. passed because they shared a common ancestor, "said scientist Tom Williams.
As revealed by Professor David Pisanim, the results indicate that "two primary lifelines emerge 1000 million years after the last universal common ancestor (known as LUCA)", which is the hypothetical first living entity of which all existing descendants.
"With this approach we were able to demonstrate that LUCA existed 4,500 million years ago, not long after the earth hit the planet Theia, an event that led to the sterilization and formation of the moon," he added.
This evidence, she emphasized, "is evidence of the power of genomic information, because it would be impossible to identify and obtain this data on the basis of available fossil information."
They find the oldest proof of life on earth