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Mon Apr 30, 2012, 11:17 AM

Strange organism has unique roots in the tree of life

By Jennifer Welsh

updated 4/29/2012 8:03:01 PM ET

Talk about extended family: A single-celled organism in Norway has been called "mankind's furthest relative." It is so far removed from the organisms we know that researchers claim it belongs to a new base group, called a kingdom, on the tree of life.

"We have found an unknown branch of the tree of life that lives in this lake. It is unique! So far we know of no other group of organisms that descend from closer to the roots of the tree of life than this species," study researcher Kamran Shalchian-Tabrizi, of the University of Oslo, in Norway, said in a statement.

The organism, a type of protozoan, was found by researchers in a lake near Oslo. Protozoans have been known to science since 1865, but because they are difficult to culture in the lab, researchers haven't been able to get a grip on their genetic makeup. They were placed in the protist kingdom on the tree of life mostly based on observations of their size and shape.

In this study, published March 21 in the journal Molecular Biology Evolution, the researchers were able to grow enough of the protozoans, called Collodictyon, in the lab to analyze its genome. They found it doesn't genetically fit into any of the previously discovered kingdoms of life. It's an organism with membrane-bound internal structures, called a eukaryote, but genetically it isn't an animal, plant, fungi, algae or protist (the five main groups of eukaryotes).

"The microorganism is among the oldest currently living eukaryote organism we know of. It evolved around one billion years ago, plus or minus a few hundred million years. It gives us a better understanding of what early life on Earth looked like," Shalchian-Tabrizi said.

more

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47225834/ns/technology_and_science-science/#.T56sle2XJgs

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Reply Strange organism has unique roots in the tree of life (Original post)
n2doc Apr 2012 OP
xchrom Apr 2012 #1
ashling Apr 2012 #4
xchrom Apr 2012 #5
longship Apr 2012 #2
Kablooie Apr 2012 #3
AnotherDreamWeaver Apr 2012 #7
HopeHoops Apr 2012 #6
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #8
BlancheSplanchnik May 2012 #9
FailureToCommunicate May 2012 #10

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 11:28 AM

1. welcome to the Tree! nt

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Response to xchrom (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 11:45 AM

4. My daughter and I have been working on Ancestry.com

I'll have to send this to her.

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Response to ashling (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 11:48 AM

5. wonder if there is a high school graduation picture? nt

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 11:34 AM

2. This might explain Boehner's strangely orange face

R&K

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 11:40 AM

3. When I read the title I thought it was referring to this:

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:10 PM

7. Root to "rejuvenate Virility and strength"

The root, from the He Shou Wu plant, was unearthed in southern China by local farmer Lu Chen.

No doubt he was shocked when he pulled the root from the ground due to its resemblance to a human being, albeit with an overgrown appendage.

The root is often used in Chinese medicine to rejuvenate virility and strength and Lu Chen believes the obscene shaping of the root is a sign his farm will produce a good harvest next year.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:44 PM

6. That's just drunken Uncle Wayne. I was wondering what happened to him.

 

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:27 PM

8. That journalist needs to read up on her definitions

"Protist" is a label used for any Eukaryote that isn't an Animal, Plant, or Fungus. She probably means that this thing is farther down the tree than the split between Unikonts (Animals, Fungi, Amoebas) and Dikonts (all other Eukaryotes).

I wish I had access to the actual paper rather than this poorly-written article.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 08:22 AM

9. so cool!

love the pic, too

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 09:28 AM

10. Poor little thing. Stuck for millennia in Norway, where the food

generally sucks.



(Gotta hand it to scientists, though, looking in an ancient lake for something no one thought existed)

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