Team Hopeful in Its Effort to Recreate Primal Life

September 9, 2004 | Source: New York Times

Scientists analyzing the genomes of microbes believe that they have reconstructed the pivotal event — the merger of two primitive bacterial-type cells into a eukaryote — that created the one-celled organism from which all animals and plants are descended, including people.

Because all living creatures are part of the single tree of life, it should in principle be possible to trace their lineages from the tree’s very root, the first cell from which all life is presumably derived.