At first glance, it should no longer be alive: a unicellular organism that lacks most of the molecular equipment needed to copy DNA.
Duplicating DNA is fundamental to reproduction, so it was believed that DNA replication systems exist in all non-parasitic species with complex cells. But it seems they are not.
“I was amazed,” says Dayana Salas-Leiva of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. The microbe, Carpediemonas membraniferamust have some mechanism for copying its DNA that is unknown to science.
C. membranifera is a …