Researcher: “They mix their machinery to survive or do metabolism, and that’s kind of extraordinary, because we always assumed that each and every organism has its own independent identity and machinery,” said Papoutsakis.
Some see this as evidence that the universe is teeming with life on numberless planets. But what if we find fossil bacteria on Mars with genetics eerily similar to the ones we have on Earth? That could end up undermining such claims. But we shall see.
LiveScience: Through necrosignaling, bacteria alert their swarming neighbors to the presence of a deadly threat, and thereby save the majority of the swarm (a bacterial colony that’s on the move).
At Wired: As they cleared paths of food, the E.coli tended to move toward unexplored, broth-rich areas, which ultimately helped them evacuate the maze. It took about 10 hours for about 1 percent of the multiple generations of bacteria to collectively solve the puzzle. That may not sound fast, but it’s five times faster than if the organisms had just been swimming around randomly, says Phan.
ScienceDaily: Morono was initially taken aback by the results. “At first I was skeptical, but we found that up to 99.1% of the microbes in sediment deposited 101.5 million years ago were still alive and were ready to eat,” he said.
Researchers discovered this by accident: when the bacteria left manganese oxide in a dirty lab jar.
Cepelewicz: The very existence of organelles in these bacteria, coupled with intriguing parallels to the more familiar ones that characterize eukaryotes, has prompted scientists to revise how they think about the evolution of cellular complexity — all while offering new ways to probe the basic principles that underlie it.
One wonders how much of their genome they steal from more closely related species (as opposed to schoolbook Darwinian evolution).
A reader writes: They have a mechanism by which they can mutate a specific part of the DNA, in a pattern and rate that’s different from random mutation.
She explains: “Once we kind of came to that idea, it all sort of fell into place.” Indeed, Madam Professor! You follow brilliantly in the footsteps of Miss Marple. We need intelligence to uncover this because intelligence underlies it.
A friend points out that the paper just describes the intricate machinery of the hook, adding to what we know, without any resort to Darwinspeak. It seems to be getting safer all the time to just not talk that way any more.
This explanation makes explicit that this is not Darwinian evolution. One writeup even alludes to the type of Darwinian tale that is being replaced.
Wait. What does this story remind us of? Oh yes, recently a writer at The Atlantic went so far as to express doubt about the claim of a Darwin-in-the-schools lobbyist that everyone needs to buy into their approach to evolution if we want to understand superbugs.
“In the classic Darwinian mindset, competition is the name of the game. The best suited survive and outcompete those less well suited. However, when it comes to microorganisms like bacteria, our findings reveal the most cooperative ones survive,” explains Department of Biology microbiologist, Professor Søren Johannes Sørensen.
Natalie Coleman at Futurism: A paper published last month … argues that the “primary colonists” of the Red Planet should be “microorganisms” — the bacteria, viruses, and fungi that support many of life’s processes here on Earth.