“Paleogenomics”: looking in the past to the future.
Birnbaum D, Coulier F, Pébusque MJ, Pontarotti P
The complete sequence of the human and other vertebrate and nonvertebrate genomes provide a wealth of information on the organization, relationships and evolution of the metazoans. Soon the fine structure of our innermost biological identity will be unveiled and what has so far remained deep and secret will shine like an unearthed treasure and shape and fuel our future quests. A key treasure, for many molecular scientists interested in molecular evolution and development would be the knowledge of the genome of the ancestral precursor of all metazoans. In the absence of fossil DNA, this knowledge will forever remain a yearning for dreamy molecular biologists. And yet, will not the power of deduction and reconstitution of information gained through man’s sophisticated technologies one day recreate a “virtual” metazoan ancestor?Read the article