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http://www.npr.org/2011/05/12/136207...e-tree-of-life
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If you think biologists have a pretty good idea about what lives on the Earth, think again. Scientists say they have just now discovered an entirely new branch on the tree of life. It's made up of mysterious microscopic organisms. They're related to fungus, but they are so different, you could argue that they deserve their very own kingdom, alongside plants and animals.

This comes as a big surprise. Just a few years ago, professor Timothy James and his colleagues sat down and wrote the definitive scientific paper to describe the fungal tree of life.

"We thought we knew what about the major groups that existed," says James, who is curator of fungus at the University of Michigan. "Many groups have excellent drawings of these fungi from the last 150 years."

Many fungi are already familiar. There are mushrooms, yeasts, molds like the one that makes penicillin, plant diseases such as rusts and smuts. Mildew in your shower is one, along with athlete's foot. There are even fungi that infect insects as well as fungi that live on other fungi.

Biologists figure they've probably only cataloged about 10 percent of all fungal species. But they thought they at least knew all of the major groups.

Oops. A paper being published in the journal Nature says that isn't so. Thomas Richards, at the Natural History Museum in London, says biologists can mostly only study microscopic fungi if they can grow them in the lab.
Man, I was put out when they added Archaebacteria as a new Kingdom. Now this? And Pluto isn't a planet?

 

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I dunno about that, but Tom Cruise is certainly from a very moldy branch of the tree of life. Or maybe more like a small bush of insanity.
 

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Originally Posted by Rotoshave View Post

Man, I was put out when they added Archaebacteria as a new Kingdom. Now this? And Pluto isn't a planet?

There are more things in heaven and earth, Rotoshave, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

The questions we ask determine the answers.
 

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The beautiful thing about science is that it's always changing based on the available evidence. That's why we now apparently have a new branch of life, and pluto is rightfully no longer classified as a planet. Scientists love mysteries. They love not knowing. Unlike other ways of looking at life that start with a conclusion and try to find evidence to support them, actual science starts with evidence and crafts hypotheses to explain it. In other words, the poetry of reality.
 

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Science is like that, we look all of the time on things that were believed to be true about the world 50 years ago and are amazed that people thought that. Just like surely 50 years from now we will be looking back on what we thought was true when we were younger and be amazed.
 

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This one guy calls Pluto the King of the Comets to give it a good rep even though it's not a planet anymore.

On topic, this is pretty interesting. Once they determine they're not dangerous, I want one as a pet.
 
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