Who comes first in the world – a virus or a cell?

VirusPennsylvania a new method for biological calculations that will help to determine what first arose on Earth – the cells or viruses? In order to answer this question biologists have traced the evolutionary path of proteins that make up cells and viruses.

We have just started the study with the help of the custom method. Confident that in the end it will be possible to explain what had emerged from what – the virus has evolved into a cell, or vice versa, – says project manager Randy Patterson.

In the new method is a group of ancient proteins – retro elements, which is about 50% of the human genome. It is this group of proteins can give an answer on the nature of many diseases, such as AIDS. Retro element – an ancient and highly diverse class of proteins, so they will serve us very strict guideline in conducting do research – he said.

A team of specialists is hoping to make freely available to create algorithms and create them on the basis of open source software over the Online.

To determine the primary scientists intend to map the evolutionary history of organisms on the basis of their genetic and protein sequences. Those organisms that will share a significant amount of the total genetic basis will be allocated in a single group and are ranked according to their similarity.

At the first stage of the study was able to use 11 groups of retro elements inherent in different organisms, from bacteria to humans. Now we have to trace the evolutionary change of retro elements. In Pennsylvania, have developed a computer algorithm that generates evolutionary profiles.

During the analysis the researchers hope to create a description of the degree of genetic relatedness, not only the next species, but also the most remote. From a technical point of view, this method is similar to the indexing database, delivering a full analysis of the content.

As a result, the professionals will have to obtain a large multi-dimensional biological basis, in which the elements will be linked to the model “many to many”. After analyzing these sequences, the result will be “down” to the very basics of life and realize that is the parent of the first sets of proteins that are the basis for everything else.

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