Summary: Honolulu Star-Bulletin Hawaii News http://starbulletin.com/2001/08/09/news/story5.html
1 of 2 3/5/2008 12:58 PM
Thursday, August 9, 2001
UH team unravels
ancestor of human
Scientists say human hemoglobin
may have evolved from a
protein found in primitive life
By Helen Altonn
University of Hawaii scientists studying the most ancient group of microorganisms on Earth have
made another in a series of discoveries related to the evolution of life.
"We think what we learned tells us how the biological system adapted to early environments of our
life," said Maqsudul Alam, associate professor of microbiology and associate director of the Marine
Bioproducts Engineering Center.
Alam and Randy Larsen, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, said they have
unraveled the structure of a new class of myoglobin-like proteins discovered last year in the
primitive organism Archaea.
Known as globin or heme-proteins, they are able to store and transport oxygen as human