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Photo: Solving a 100-Million Year Old Theft

Solving a 100-Million Year Old Theft

Debashish Bhattacharya and Dana Price are part of a team that discovered how the little amoeba, Paulinella, committed grand larceny, grabbing genes from an unsuspecting bacterium about 100 millions years ago to become photosynthetic. The process that Paulinella used is called endosymbiosis, and it altered life on Earth by allowing the rise of animals that depend on plant life. A paper written in 1895 on the theory of endosymbiosis by German naturalist Robert Lauterborn laid the foundation for the current study.
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