Scientists discover new branch of the "tree of life"

05/1/2012 | Popular Science · ScienceDaily

Biologists say a previously unknown microscopic life form pulled from a lake in Norway might help unlock some secrets to early human development. The strange algae-eating protozoan, called Collodictyon, was genetically tested and shown to be unlike any other living organism. Scientists now believe the ancient eukaryote -- which likely evolved nearly a billion years ago -- could be the earliest common ancestor of humans. "Were we to reconstruct the oldest, eukaryote cell in the world, we believe it would resemble our species," said professor Kamran Shalchian-Tabrizi of the University of Oslo.

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Popular Science · ScienceDaily

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