Scientists Develop New Method to Investigate Origin of Life (image) Penn State Share Print E-Mail Caption The baobab tree represents one of the most ancient species of life on the planet. In our paper, we investigate ancient and highly divergent proteins, called retro-elements, whose evolutionary histories hold keys to uncovering the origins of life. Our research demonstrates that phylogenetic profiles generated using the Gestalt Domain Detection Algorithm-Basic Local Alignment Tool provide an independent method for estimating the evolutionary histories of retroelements. Credit Randen Patterson and Damian van Rossum, Penn State Usage Restrictions The credit must be published along with the image. Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.