Illustration of Mitochondrial Eve

Image via Wikipedia

Mitochondria, the fundamental part of a cell which supplies the most of the chemical energy by generating ATP, also gives extremely valuable clues about the human genome. Since it is inherited maternally, all human beings on the earth could be traced back to an individual female lived in Africa who is called “Mitochondrial Eve” and  by the scientists. A recent study of scientists from Rice University suggests that our common “grandma” lived 200,000 years ago. Fascinating story.

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The most robust statistical examination to date of our species’ genetic links to “mitochondrial Eve” the maternal ancestor of all living humans confirms that she lived about 200,000 years ago.

Artist's cross section of a mitochondrion
The Rice University study was based on a side by side comparison of 10 human genetic models that each aim to determine when Eve lived using a very different set of assumptions about the way humans migrated, expanded and spread across Earth. (more…)


Two interesting news stories on genetics: One, about creating artificial life and the other is a Nobel awarded, groundbreaking work, titled gene targeting. It’s almost certain that genetics will be the most important scientific discipline in upcoming decades, with the new possibilities and exciting new horizons appear for the humanity. Of course, bringing new “problems” and hot debates too.

Craig Venter, a U.S. scientist and researcher, claims he created an artificial chromosome in his laboratory and injected this to a living bacterial cell. The Guardian reports:

Controversial celebrity US scientist Craig Venter has announced he is on the verge of creating the first ever artificial life form which he hails as a potential remedy to illness and global warming.

Venter told Britain’s The Guardian newspaper Saturday that he has built a synthetic chromosome using chemicals made in a laboratory, and is set to announce the discovery within weeks, possibly as early as Monday.

Despite Venter’s sensational “media show”, the prospect of engineering artificial life forms is highly controversial and likely to trigger a heated debate over the ethics and potential ramifications of such an advance, think some. We’ll see what new discussions will begin in upcoming weeks. You know, scientists have an instinctive reflex to reject all the new and groundbreaking theories that come from their colleagues.