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  • Study of ribosome evolution challenges RNA world hypothesis

    The researchers constructed an evolutionary history of the RNA (left) and protein (right, added to the ribosomal RNA) components of the ribosome. Older components are shown in red; more recent ones are blue. The two timelines "showed great congruence" and suggest that ribosomal proteins co-evolved with ribosomal RNAs.

    The researchers constructed an evolutionary history of the RNA (left) and protein (right, added to the ribosomal RNA) components of the ribosome. Older components are shown in red; more recent ones are blue. The two timelines "showed great congruence" and suggest that ribosomal proteins co-evolved with ribosomal RNAs.

    Image by Derek and Gustavo Caetano-Anolls and Ajith Harish

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      The researchers constructed an evolutionary history of the RNA (left) and protein (right, added to the ribosomal RNA) components of the ribosome. Older components are shown in red; more recent ones are blue. The two timelines "showed great congruence" and suggest that ribosomal proteins co-evolved with ribosomal RNAs.

      Image by Derek and Gustavo Caetano-Anolls and Ajith Harish

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      University of Illinois crop sciences and Institute for Genomic Biology professor Gustavo Caetano-Anolls led a study that used molecular analyses to determine the evolutionary histories of the proteins and the RNAs that make up the ribosome.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      Former graduate student Ajith Harish (now a postdoctoral researcher at Lund University in Sweden) worked with Caetano-Anolls on a study that suggests that proteins were around before the ribosome got involved in their translation.

      Courtesy Ajith Harish

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