• The origin of complex cell types -- collectively called “eukaryotes” -- has so far baffled the scientific community. But, as part of the new study, the scientists have discovered a new group of microorganisms, called Lokiarchaeota or “Loki” for short, which can solve mysteries about the evolutionary transition from simple to complex cells.
  • The researchers studied Loki’s genome and found that the microorganism represented an intermediate form between the simple cells of microbes and the complex cell types of eukaryotes. According to the researchers, when they placed Loki in the "Tree of Life," it formed a well-supported group with the eukaryotes in their analysis.
  • The researchers said the new findings will help them better understand how complex cell types, including plants, fungi, animal and humans, evolved from simple microbes billions of years ago.

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