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The complete sequence of the 1,267,782 bp genome of Wolbachia pipientis wMel, an obligate intracellular bacteria of Drosophila melanogaster, has been determined. Wolbachia, which are found in a variety of invertebrate species, are of great interest due to their diverse interactions with different hosts, which range from many forms of reproductive parasitism(More)
The idea that some eukaryotes primitively lacked mitochondria and were true intermediates in the prokaryote-to-eukaryote transition was an exciting prospect. It spawned major advances in understanding anaerobic and parasitic eukaryotes and those with previously overlooked mitochondria. But the evolutionary gap between prokaryotes and eukaryotes is now(More)
The natural transfer of DNA from mitochondria to the nucleus generates nuclear copies of mitochondrial DNA (numts) and is an ongoing evolutionary process, as genome sequences attest. In humans, five different numts cause genetic disease and a dozen human loci are polymorphic for the presence of numts, underscoring the rapid rate at which mitochondrial(More)
Analyses of 55 individual and 31 concatenated protein data sets encoded in Reclinomonas americana and Marchantia polymorpha mitochondrial genomes revealed that current methods for constructing phylogenetic trees are insufficiently sensitive (or artifact-insensitive) to ascertain the sister of mitochondria among the current sample of eight(More)
BACKGROUND The concept of a tree of life is prevalent in the evolutionary literature. It stems from attempting to obtain a grand unified natural system that reflects a recurrent process of species and lineage splittings for all forms of life. Traditionally, the discipline of systematics operates in a similar hierarchy of bifurcating (sometimes(More)
While traditional graphics techniques provide for the realistic display of three-dimensional objects, these methods often lack the flexibility to emulate expressive effects found in the works of artists such as Michelangelo and Cezanne. We introduce a technique for capturing custom artistic shading models from sampled art work. Our goal is to allow users to(More)
All complex life is composed of eukaryotic (nucleated) cells. The eukaryotic cell arose from prokaryotes just once in four billion years, and otherwise prokaryotes show no tendency to evolve greater complexity. Why not? Prokaryotic genome size is constrained by bioenergetics. The endosymbiosis that gave rise to mitochondria restructured the distribution of(More)
Two significant evolutionary processes are fundamentally not tree-like in nature--lateral gene transfer among prokaryotes and endosymbiotic gene transfer (from organelles) among eukaryotes. To incorporate such processes into the bigger picture of early evolution, biologists need to depart from the preconceived notion that all genomes are related by a single(More)
chemistry of life is the chemistry of reduced organic compounds, and therefore all theories for the origin of life must offer testable hypotheses to account for the source of these compounds. The best-known theories for the origin of organic compounds are based on the notion of an 'organic soup' that was generated either by lightning-driven reactions in the(More)
Building on the model of Russell and Hall for the emergence of life at a warm submarine hydrothermal vent, we suggest that, within a hydrothermally formed system of contiguous iron-sulfide (FeS) compartments, populations of virus-like RNA molecules, which eventually encoded one or a few proteins each, became the agents of both variation and selection. The(More)