Ribosomes in archaea are more closely related to those in eukarya
What researchers have found is that a domain of extremely primitive microbes known as archaea actually are closer to eukarya than bacteria in its ribosomal genetics; eukarya being the branch of life that humans and all other vertebrates are part of. These similarities indicate that archaea are a closer “relative” to us on the evolutionary tree than bacteria.
To offer full insight into the ribosome, the researchers examined both the peptide (protein) sequences and the RNA sequences which composed it. They also examined the 3D structure of the ribosome and the orientation of proteins with respect to each other. Graduate student Elijah Roberts led the study and wrote computer programs that combed through thousands of organism’s ribosomal sequences. Whenever a difference between organisms was found, it was cataloged and the program then examined if the difference was exclusive to the organism’s domain.
Illinois chemistry professor Zaida Luthey-Schulten, one of the senior professors participating in the study describes, “The evolution of cells and the evolution of translation are really linked to one another. To be a molecular signature a sequence has to be common to all members of a single domain of life, but not another.”
Mostly I just find this to be interesting.
What is weird is that we are afflicted by any number of parasites from the domain of bacteria, and also from the eukarya domain, but not from the archaea to which we appear to be more closely related than to bacteria. Even if some archaea parasitical on eukaryotes are found someday, the sheer numerical difference would remain.
Vis-a-vis ID, I would note that science again produces answers, while Behe would remain dithering over an invisible difference between “design” and evolution.