Ancient bacteria could help astronomers find alien life, scientists say

Scientists use AI to reconstruct how protein from 2.5 billion to 4 billion years ago evolved

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Scientists have reconstructed the biological processes in some of the Earth’s earliest life forms, an advance that could help find alien life on other planets with atmospheres similar to those on early Earth.

Researchers, including those from the University of California (UC) – Riverside in the US, say the earliest life forms on Earth, including bacteria and single-celled organisms called archaea, inhabited a mainly oceanic planet without an ozone layer to protect them from the sun’s radiation.

These microbes had proteins called rhodopsins that have the ability to turn sunlight into energy, using them to power cellular processes.

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