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Press Release 12-106

Assembling, Visualizing and Analyzing a Tree of All Life

National Science Foundation grants will bring together what's known about how species are related

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Illustration of a leaf with the words Open Tree of Life.

The "Open Tree of Life" is one of three major new scientific projects funded by the NSF.

Credit: NSF National Evolutionary Synthesis Center


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Illustration of the tree of life showing bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes.

Tree of life showing bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes such as humans.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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Illustration of the tree of life showing small black line which is ancestor of all life on Earth.

A tree of life based on modern genetic analyses; the small black line from which the tree branches is the common ancestor of all life on Earth.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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Illustration showing a botanical tree of life.

A botanical tree of life, from amaryllis to tree fern.

Credit: U.S. Botanic Garden


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Illustration of the tree of life from the 1879 work The Evolution of Man.

A tree of life from the 1879 work "The Evolution of Man."

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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Sketch from Charles Darwin's notebook showing the first evolutionary tree.

This late 1830s sketch from Charles Darwin's notebook is likely the very first evolutionary tree.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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