Science Weekly: Evolution of the ribosome revealed

The Georgia Institute of Technology has discovered how the ribosome originated and evolved.

By digitally uncovering each layer of ribosomes in the modern day, scientists have been able to uncover some of the building blocks of primoridal ribosomes.

Professor Loren Williams from Georgia Tech said that the history of the ribosome can tell us about the origins of life.

Genetic information in transcribed by the DNA into mRNA. This information is moved out of the nucleus of the cell. Ribosomes translate the mRNA as a blueprint for building all the proteins and enzymes that are necessary for life.

In the study by Georgia Tech which was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on June 30, scientists compared three-dimensional ribosomes of various species with varying degrees of complexity.

The study revealed that humans, yeast, bacteria and archaea all have the same core ribosome structure identified as the last universal common ancestor (LUCA).

Evolution may have changed some parts of the ribosomes in each of these species, however, the core stayed the same.

LUCA originated over three billion years ago and was built onto by evolution to make what is now the modern ribosome.

Information compiled from