Sea Sponges - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

1)   Sea sponges produce a rare molecule called 24-IPC thereby providing their existence on earth as its first animals. What does 24-IPC stand for?

a. 24-Isopropylcholesterol
b. 24-Isotropylcholesterol
c. 24-Isocropylcholesterol
d. 24-Isodropylcholesterol
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 24-Isopropylcholesterol

MIT researchers have discovered that a rare molecule called 24-Isopropylcholesterol has been found in rocks at least 640 million years old. It is currently produced by sea sponges and a team has tried to find out which gene is implicated for producing 24-IPC, what organisms have this gene and when it evolved in these organisms . Team narrowed it to a single gene called SMT/sterol methyltransferase which causes organisms to produce 24-IPC if it has the correct number of copies. SMT is found in both sea sponge and algae species. Through gene analysis based on fossil record, scientists found sea sponges producing this molecule long before algae.

2)   What was the first animal to appear on earth, according to MIT researchers?

a. Sea Algae
b. Sea Sponge
c. Sea Bacteria
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sea Sponge

The first animal to appear on earth was the sea sponge, according to MIT researchers, as they predate the Cambrian explosion during which large number of new animals came about. MIT studied the discovery through analysis of molecular fossils which are trace amounts of molecules found in ancient rocks surviving till current times.