OCT 12, 2016 1:59 PM PDT

The Organism that Changed the World

WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Ellis

The evolution of the single-celled organism, cyanobacteria, almost wiped out life on earth. Cyanobacteria were the primary cause of the first mass extinction on Earth more than 2 billion years ago. By developing the capability to convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into sugar and oxygen gas, the early development of photosynthesis, it was able to become its own powerhouse.

The cascade of outcomes that occurred from this one event almost caused all anaerobic species on earth to die off due to excess oxygen in the air, and eventually paved the way for complex life. The Oxygenation Event changed the path of life on earth from mainly anaerobic life forms to a growing number of constantly evolving aerobic beings. It turns out we might just owe the modern world to these little guys!
About the Author
  • I love all things science and am passionate about bringing science to the public through writing. With an M.S. in Genetics and experience in cancer research, marketing and technical writing, it is a pleasure to share the latest trends and findings in science on LabRoots.
You May Also Like
JAN 06, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 06, 2020
How Much Do You Know About Mars?
Humankind is getting closer to the ultimate goal of sending humans to Mars for scientific research, and then eventually colonization later down the line. B...
JAN 08, 2020
Health & Medicine
JAN 08, 2020
Cancer Death Rates Declining in U.S., According to New Report
In the United States, the death rate from cancer has declined, according to a new report released today by the American Cancer Society. The video below sum...
JAN 16, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
JAN 16, 2020
Self-healable Sweat Sensor Fears No Wear and Tear
Sweat can provide a lot of information about a person's health. One of the current trends in wearable technology is to incorporate sweat sensing mechan...
JAN 28, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 28, 2020
A Slug Does All it Can to Defend Against Hungry Ants
Slugs are slow, and this makes them easy targets for predators however big or small they might be. Here, we see that a slug has been spotted by a hungry co...
FEB 07, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
FEB 07, 2020
Earth's Magnetic Field Debuted Over 4 Billions Ago, and It was Much Stronger
The existence of a diverse atmosphere on our planet is crucial for life. On top of being in the goldilocks zone, another life-supporting feature of our Ear...
FEB 20, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
FEB 20, 2020
Methane-fueled Commerical Production of Biodegradable Plastics in Sight
Plastics, the petroleum-based, very poorly degradable polymers, make up almost everything in our society from water bottles, food packing, disposable utens...
Loading Comments...