DNA Nearly a Billion Years Old Is Being Warped to Figure Out How Life Could Evolve on Other Planets

Astrobiologist Betül Kaçar realized figuring out how the machinery of life works means that you have to work backwards. She decided to “break” it by using ancestral sequencing to find out how evolution shaped organisms here on Earth — and could shape alien life-forms. She has now found that the process of evolution is surprisingly terrible at multitasking. It just handles the most immediate problem, then moves to the next one without having finished its work on the previous one. Cells don’t resolve issues like we do, which gives us a glimpse at how evolution and natural selection happen on Earth and could occur on other planets.

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