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March 03, 2006

Geneticists trace original organism

Science, Just Science - News

How interesting is this?

Geneticists trace original organism

Ian Sample, science correspondent
Friday March 3, 2006
The Guardian

Geneticists have drawn up the most accurate tree of life yet and pinpointed what they believe to be the organism from which all other life on Earth evolved.

Scientists construct tree of life "maps" to show how different organisms evolved over millennia, and split into the myriad species that have emerged on Earth. But previous versions have been beset with uncertainties, not least because microbes near the bottom of the tree swap DNA, making them hard to classify.

The new tree uses genetics to work out for certain where on the tree different organisms should be. In creating it, the researchers were able to cast back to see what lay at the bottom of the evolutionary tree, an organism dubbed the "last universal common ancestor" from which all other life sprung.

Read more:,,1722531,00.html

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