Looking for the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA)

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/159655

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Koskela , M M & Annila , A 2012 , ' Looking for the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) ' , Genes , vol. 3 , no. 1 , pp. 81-87 . https://doi.org/10.3390/genes3010081

Title: Looking for the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA)
Author: Koskela, Minna Maria; Annila, Arto
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Biosciences
University of Helsinki, Department of Physics
Date: 2012
Language: eng
Number of pages: 7
Belongs to series: Genes
ISSN: 2073-4425
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/159655
Abstract: Genomic sequences across diverse species seem to align towards a common ancestry, eventually implying that eons ago some universal antecedent organism would have lived on the face of Earth. However, when evolution is understood not only as a biological process but as a general thermodynamic process, it becomes apparent that the quest for the last universal common ancestor is unattainable. Ambiguities in alignments are unavoidable because the driving forces and paths of evolution cannot be separated from each other. Thus tracking down life’s origin is by its nature a non-computable task. The thermodynamic tenet clarifies that evolution is a path-dependent process of least-time consumption of free energy. The natural process is without a demarcation line between animate and inanimate.
Subject: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
evolution
geodesic
intractability
sequence alignment
the principle of least action
universal ancestor
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