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Tue Oct 30, 2012, 08:52 AM

Vision evolved 700 million years ago

http://www.tgdaily.com/general-sciences-features/67183-vision-evolved-700-million-years-ago




Vision evolved 700 million years ago
Posted on October 30, 2012 - 06:59 by Kate Taylor

A huge computational analysis has revealed that opsins - the light-sensitive proteins key to vision - may have evolved earlier than previously believed.

Opsins are a vital component of the visual pigments that trap light in the eyes, and there's long been intense debate over exactly when they first evolved.

To try and settle the question, the University of Bristol analysis incorporated all available genomic information from all relevant animal lineages, including a newly sequenced group of sponges called Oscarella carmela and the Cnidarians, a group of animals widely thought to have possessed the world's earliest eyes.

Using this information, the researchers developed a timeline for the evolution of opsins, and found that an opsin ancestor common to all groups appeared some 700 million years ago.

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unhappycamper Oct 2012 OP
xocet Oct 2012 #1
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