Stress, a way to make stem cells? Could be an evolutionary adaptation to harsh environments — Archaea Extremophiles

Recent papers in Nature (see news story below) suggest that acidic stress of mature cells could can make pluripotent stem cells.  I hypothesize that this response is evidence of an ancient evolutionary adaptation to harsh environments — Archae Extremophiles may be a good group to provide comparative evidence. Specifically Archaea is good at thriving at high temperatures, high PH, low PH, low oxygen and other extremes of the environmental spectrum. On the early Earth, conditions were harsh so organisms that could thrive and replicate in these conditions ultimately became our ancestors. All animals living today should have this legacy in their genomes, epigenomes and indeed their cellular machinery. Comparisons of shared stress adaptations across distant cousins (e.g., Archaea and humans share a common ancestor approximately 3556.3 Million Years Ago) could provide some evidence for the origins of positive responses to stress. Perhaps protein export, post-translational modification, assembly mechanisms, and metabolism are good places to start.

On an unrelated note, I find it amazing that the authors captured this on video and it is notable (at least to me) that DNA methylation was involved at some level.
Original papers below:
Despite the major evolutionary gulf between archaea and eukaryotes (see below) I think there must be shared stress adaptations due to shared ancestry. One may have to rule out convergent evolution, due to the extensive lateral gene transfer at the base of the tree of life.

About sociogenomics

I study behaviour and evolution. This space is about sharing with others notable (and sometimes unexpected) findings that relate to my own scientific interests and research.
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