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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society

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Life’s Vintage
Life’s Vintage
Analytical software
Celia Mendez and Carla Baptista
Isaac Cann Laboratory
Funded by NASA

The circular, branching patterns seen here are a common way to represent the evolutionary relationships between different organisms. In this research, scientists examined the relationships among species of Eukarya, the branch of life that includes animals, plants, and fungi, and Archaea, a branch of life that comprises single-celled microbes that often live in extreme environments. By comparing the DNA sequences of key genes in modern organisms, we can trace the evolution of the earliest forms of life billions of years ago.