Found: 600 Million-Year-Old Gene Marker for Vision

From Science Daily:

“We determined which genetic ‘gateway’ or ion channel, in the hydra is involved in light sensitivity,” said senior author Todd H. Oakley, assistant professor in UCSB’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology. “This is the same gateway that is used in human vision.” … The gene, called opsin, is present in vision among vertebrate animals, and is responsible for a different way of seeing than that of animals like flies. The vision of insects emerged later than the visual machinery found in hydra and vertebrate animals.

via Scientists discover 600 million-year-old origins of vision.

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