19 Dec '11, 9pm

#Green #NYTimes: Green Blog: The Tree of Life Gets a Makeover: Newly mapped evolutionary relatio... #LittleBearProd

The Tree of Life Gets a Makeover By RACHEL NUWER PLoS Genetics Researchers mapped evolutionary relationships among families of seed plants. Darwin called it the “abominable mystery”: the reason for a sudden explosion of diverse flowering plants in the fossil record. Biologists have pondered the issue for years but were hampered by the absence of full studies of some plants and a lack of sophisticated tools for analyzing large genetic data sets. But now, thanks to a method called “functional phylogenomics,” scientists have resolved some of the enigmatic relationships of plant families, potentially opening the way for advances in agriculture. “We looked from the macro-evolutionary scale to the single gene scale,” said Sergios-Orestis Kolokotronis, an evolutionary biologist at Columbia. Collaborating with colleagues from diverse disciplines, he and others present a novel visi...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/19/the-tree-of-lif...

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