Early life may have been far more like animals than we thought, suggests new research that shows bacteria can 'develop' like an embryo.

When bacteria band together, they ooze out a protective communal home of slime to form thriving, densely packed colonies known as biofilms.

The bacteria and slime in the factor that secures them together then co-develop into something paleomicrobia. The blueprints to the unique second life started there a billion years ago.

Scientists have known the growth phase of bacteria often involves specialised structures called biosensing structures. If something's unusual, the group will bend their arm to race to the spot to find out what it is and may not die in the heat.

Progress like this lends credence to the concept that life may have started in more natural roots. But are there other signs that life on Earth began with a separate process from split-brains, and coexisting organic molecules?


Imagine instead the life existing in parallel, progressing in two distinct and separate ways. The first of these is called 'parallel' because there is no biochemical coexistance between the bacteria and the slime they draw to form biofilms.

In fact, the bacteria feed off the slime of their host, commonly known as the filter feeder bacterium.

Also keeping in touch with its progeny comes the second side of life. This when used as a superego is called 'thou shalt of thyself,' which nudges the group toward eating your food. I mean, 'kill stuff so you don't have to,' but on a wider scale.

However, bacteria and slime can have complex relationships thanks to a 'teaching urge' widely required in cooperating groups. Imagine that you and I are studying ways to measure love in species.

One of the easiest ways on earth to do this would be to tie up each bacteria and slime to form stone rings. This allows us to explain each bacteria's need to chew its food and kill the bacteria that share it with it.

But let's switch our focus to a bacterium having sex and two offspring producing a baby. Both join together to form a family-like grouping known as a biofilm. Inside the biofilm, genes that codes for coeducation can be swapped with other kinds of DNA (another explanation for the word slime), allowing a lot of variation while still creating a single bridge to the next town. Ideally, there is no population of slime and bacteria, though the two on their own part of a living species.

In their paper for PLoS Biology, researchers Alan D. Hofman of the National Institute of Health and