Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Organism Closest To Original "Tree of Life" Discovered

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the in-the-beginning dept.

Earth 198

An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have discovered a benign algae eating protozoan in a lake near Oslo, Norway whose gene sequence does not match any known organism living on earth today, and this beasty combines genetic characteristics across plant, animal, and fungal kingdoms. It is believed to be the closest living organism to the original organisms that spawned all animal life on earth."

cancel ×

198 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

At last proof evolution is wrong (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39842927)

it's an American Fundamentalist

Oblig. (4, Funny)

frank_carmody (1551463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39842959)

So what's the /. UID of this thing?

Re:Oblig. (5, Funny)

djl4570 (801529) | more than 2 years ago | (#39842977)

-1^.5

Re:Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843125)

It was not I who gave you the breath of life.

Re:Oblig. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39844723)

The square root of a negative number is an imaginary number so I would assume that this remark either considers the creature or its attributes to be imaginary too. I do not consider the remark to be funny.

Re:Oblig. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39842987)

If it has has hung around this long, it's obviously smart enough to have stayed away from this site.

Re:Oblig. (3, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843037)

Yeah, it still uses EBCDIC for pretty much everything, like most protists.

Re:Oblig. (2)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843407)

EBCDIC. For whenever even ASCII isn't a sufficiently irrational encoding.

Actually, it should still use the even older Baudot/Murray code, in which /. is 11101 11100. So its /. uid would be 956.

Re:Oblig. (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843077)

So what's the /. UID of this thing?

Judging by the picture in the article [msn.com] , it is none other than Cowboy Neil himself.

Re:Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39844513)

Judging by the picture in the article [msn.com] , it is none other than Cowboy Neil himself.

You need new glasses. That's a picture of my senator.

Re:Oblig. (0, Troll)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843085)

But... but... which day did God create that one again?

Re:Oblig. (5, Informative)

JazzHarper (745403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843549)

But... but... which day did God create that one again?

The fifth day. "Read your damn Bible."

Re:Oblig. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843833)

>The fifth day. "Read your damn Bible."

That is correct. This little guy was created on the fifth day, exactly one day after the sun was created.

Re:Oblig. (1)

belthize (990217) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843879)

Not much to add other than a hearty thanks to the moderators that made this +4 informative. Made my day.

Re:Oblig. (1, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844353)

Good point. In the words of Penn Jillette: "We need more atheists — and nothin' will get you there faster than readin' the damn Bible."

Re:Oblig. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39844785)

No. We need more agnostics. Atheism is the anti-religion religion. They are all too often more fanatical and crazy. A least with religious zealots, you know where you stand. With Atheists, they quietly scheme and lie, all too often to themselves. Atheism is even completely incompatible with science. After all, these crazies believe they have in absolutely terms disproven a negative.

By definition, a good scientist is agnostic and an atheist is a crazy zealot, like any other.

Re:Oblig. (2)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844377)

Posting an objection on behalf of the guy from 234 AD.

"And with regard to the creation of the light upon the first day . . . and of the [great] lights and stars upon the fourth . . . we have treated to the best of our ability in our notes upon Genesis, as well as in the foregoing pages, when we found fault with those who, taking the words in their apparent signification, said that the time of six days was occupied in the creation of the world..."

--Origen of Alexandria

Re:Oblig. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843131)

0, 1 or some Erds number or a low batch number?

Re:Oblig. (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843261)

So what's the /. UID of this thing?

T3K3L1-L1 [wikipedia.org]

Re:Oblig. (1)

the monolith (1174927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843489)

The scientists are probably working furiously to name the life form, but I'm getting there first ... Your name is 'Fred'.

Re:Oblig. (2)

trevc (1471197) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844133)

Nope - it is called "42"

I know its username! (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844433)

Swampthing! [wikipedia.org]

Re:Oblig. (3, Funny)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844771)

The protozoan was heard shouting "Hey you young species, get off my pond!"

Get to the point! (0)

Nick Fel (1320709) | more than 2 years ago | (#39842961)

Does it use Vim or Emacs?

Re:Get to the point! (2)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843153)

It doesn't use either. But it has acid for blood, it is very fast and aggressive and requires a host for breeding. Also, its DNA is shaped like a pyramid in a fashion that resembles the pyramids of all known civilizations.

Re:Get to the point! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843213)

shaped like a pyramid in a fashion that resembles the pyramids

youdontsay.jpg

Re:Get to the point! (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843217)

I never.

Re:Get to the point! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39844083)

one of the earliest forms of life requires a host for breeding.

really?

Re:Get to the point! (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844543)

one of the earliest forms of life requires a host for breeding.

really?

Pop-culture reference. Plus current zeitgeist.

Re:Get to the point! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39844337)

Neither, it uses ED.

Re:Get to the point! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39844837)

No, ED is what your father uses so he doesn't have to have sex with your fat ugly momma after you were born.

Very interesting (0)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 2 years ago | (#39842969)

but I'm more interested in knowing if this new form of life can be weaponized?

Re:Very interesting (4, Funny)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843143)

I think from tfs, it is safe to say it is not a new form of life...

Re:Very interesting (4, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843237)

It's not even a new discovery - it was discovered late 19th century, i.e. more than a century ago. And not in Norway either.
What the Norwegian scientists do is study them closer, using a local lake as a source.

So, another Slashdot summary that's dead wrong. It can't get any worse without a bikini clad lady on page six.

Re:Very interesting (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843513)

It's not even a new discovery - it was discovered late 19th century, i.e. more than a century ago.

Protozoans were discovered 150 years ago, but they have been hard to investigate. It seems that there may be several different groups that are all classified protozoans, some may be very different from others -- RTFA.

can't get any worse without a bikini clad lady... (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843883)

a bikini clad slime mold on page six?

that would be worse

Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39844635)

a bikini clad slime mold on page six?

that would be worse

Speak for yourself.

[Snap, snap, grin, grin....]

Regards,

Mr. Arthur Frampton, A Lonely Old Slime Mold In A Trench Coat

(Sorry, I found a seeded Monty Python torrent on the weekend)

Re:Very interesting (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844213)

It can't get any worse without a bikini clad lady on page six.

Sounds like an April fools prank to play, but for more effect have it be a ./ calendar.

Does it run Linux? (0)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#39842973)

and eat Windows for breakfast?

Re:Does it run Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843351)

No, it runs MCP.

Reading the first four comments (0)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39842997)

I feel like in a very bad light bulb joke, along the lines of "what would $group do with it".

Elder Gods (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843013)

...the Old or Ancient Ones, the Elder Gods, of cosmic good, and those of cosmic evil, bearing many names, and themselves of different groups, as if associated with the elements and yet transcending them: for there are the Water Beings, hidden in the depths;

Re:Elder Gods (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843543)

...the Old or Ancient Ones, the Elder Gods, of cosmic good, and those of cosmic evil, bearing many names, and themselves of different groups, as if associated with the elements and yet transcending them: for there are the Water Beings, hidden in the depths;

Hail Atlantis! "Way down...below the ocean..."

A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (5, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843019)

Here [oxfordjournals.org] 's the paper.

And to ruin all of the surprise: it's believed to be about a billion years removed from other known protists. That's about the same age as multicellular life. Archaea are more distant from us than these protists.

This is more baseless conjecture than anything, but its blend of unusual genes most likely suggests that it is the sole (optimized) survivor of a larger ecosystem of similar strains, which may have exchanged DNA through some horizontal gene transfer mechanism in the past. The relatedness to a distant organism in Tibet implies that at least one of these species was once geographically ubiquitous, or spread through some other means, and may have blended into its surroundings there.

The measurement of the organism's "age" is based on the sequence of an extremely conserved gene that codes for a part of a very important cell component, the ribosome. That measurement reflects how many times the sequence has been altered since it last matched a suspected common ancestor with its nearest relatives. The researchers never said that it's been essentially the same organism for a billion years (although it looks that way in the summary and MSNBC article); since they only analysed live samples, not fossilized ones, there's no way of knowing (and I'd be sceptical about any claims that said we could sequence billion-year-old DNA.) At any rate, analytical genomics shows us that for the sequence to stay the same for so long, the environment would have to be completely static and the genes very specifically optimised, which was almost certainly not the case due to historical climate trends. The rate of sequence change is very reliable on a large scale.

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (3, Funny)

RandomAdam (1837998) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843061)

Oh come on if you are going to use logic, reason and knowledge...oh and R'ingTFA /. is no place for you.

Nice summary though.

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (0)

sixtyeight (844265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843087)

Nice nickname. Tell me you created it just for comments on this story.

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843135)

But isn't the protist kingdom generally considered the catch-all group for shit we don't yet know where belong? In that sense it isn't really surprising to for protists to become better classified.

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (5, Informative)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843177)

In modern classification, there is no Protist kingdom. Protists are polyphyletic, which means they have representatives in many different groups (or Kingdoms, if you want), and each group is linked by a common ancestor. Though they are still working out the actual branches of the Eukarya tree (a lot of the early branching is difficult to resolve because of so much genome re-arranging and duplications, insertions, and deletions), one fairly recent paper suggests at least 6 "Kingdoms": Opisthokonta (which includes fungi, animalia, and some of what were previously thought of as protists), Amoebazoa (amoebas, slime moulds, etc), Archaeplastida (plantae, red algae, and green algae), Chromalveolata, Rhizaria, Excavata, and some groups that aren't clearly in those groups. This paper by Roger and Simpson from 2004 has a good summary:

Simpson, A.G.B. & Roger, A.J., 2004. The real "oekingdoms" of eukaryotes. Current biology, 14(17), p.693-696. Available at: http://kfrserver.natur.cuni.cz/studium/prednasky/bunka/2005/simpson_eukevol.pdf. (PDF link) [natur.cuni.cz]

I'm sure there has been more work since then, but that paper is accessible to non-experts and a good overall read (though I recommend having wikipedia open to see what organisms they are talking about when they list names).

Modern classification is a bit of a mess, because Nature doesn't fit into the neat hierarchical classification system that we grew up with. A good example of this is the idea of the Animal, Fungi, and Plant kingdoms of old. If Animals and Fungi deserve their own kingdoms, then at the same hierarchical level, each plant "phylum" should actually be a kingdom. Or something along those lines. But anyway more modern classification uses monophyletic groups (groups in which all members have a common ancestor; e.g. Eukarya is monophyletic because all eukaryotes share a common ancestor, but Protista is polyphyletic because there are protists which have a more recent common ancestor with animals than they do with other protists).

----------

About the article, man that thing is a mess. Is it a translation problem, are the journalists who wrote it completely clueless, or are the researchers who discovered this organism extremely out of date with their classification? It reads more like a discovery from 1970 than 2012. :-/

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (5, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843429)

Modern classification is a bit of a mess, because Nature doesn't fit into the neat hierarchical classification system that we grew up with.

Yeah, multiple inheritance is a mess. They should have gone with single inheritance and interfaces instead...

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (2)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843717)

nah, duck typing.

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (2)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843759)

Interfaces would be an inherited class definition with simply no code. Sorry to ruin your joke

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844599)

But that's what makes it so efficient! Why does nature insist on creating new lifeforms individually, rather than simply instantiating new objects of known classes?

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (4, Interesting)

IICV (652597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844539)

Yeah, multiple inheritance is a mess. They should have gone with single inheritance and interfaces instead...

They did, once you get past the cellular stage. Multi-cellular creatures only have single inheritance (from a Pair<T,T>), and pretty much all of them implement the ISexualReproduction interface, though some implementations get really crazy and hacked together [youtube.com] (that's legacy support in action, the slugs only do that because their mating scheme was initially developed for underwater environments and nobody thought to make the code compatible with less-dense atmospheres).

It's just that some single-celled creatures have the crazy horizontal inheritance that causes so many problems in older programming languages; you end up with more of a crazed inheritance shrub, instead of a tree.

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843567)

there is no Protist kingdom.

But by my ancestors I swear, there will be one someday...

But first, we must take the North.

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843225)

Pretty much. They're a garbage bag of mostly/variably single-celled eukaryotic creatures that don't fit into the traditionally multicellular kingdoms, such as animals, plants, and fungi. It's sort of what you'd be left over with if you took a big, branching tree (all of the eukaryotes) and lopped off large swaths of its branches. Eukaryotes themselves are a chimera-like mix of several bits and pieces (e.g., chloroplasts and mitochondria, which are thought to have been originally independent prokaryotic creatures: look up endosymbiosis [wikipedia.org] ). In the real world, classification is messy because life has had a rather complicated history.

Imagine the worst conceivable spaghetti code, built to merely a "good enough to still be self-copyable" code standard, and duplicated (with copy errors), forked (speciated) and merged (endosymbiosis, crossover, and sex) zillions of times with no centralized repository for a few billion years. Then humans come along and try to figure out the code history after the fact, and after 99% of the code has been thrown away (extinct). It isn't going to be pretty. We have a broad outline of the plot to the story, and that's it so far.

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39844149)

I am thinking more language oriented. The tree-based representation breaks down when you have multiple-inheritance, and side-way inheritance (like javascript's prototype-based inheritance).

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39845039)

True. It's more like a tree with some branches grafted back on itself (think of this as porting/code merging). But it's still basically tree-like on the broadest scale, because inheritance seems more popular than crossover between branches, even among creatures that do it a lot. Also, most of the really messy cross-branch stuff happened earlier on (prokaryotes and the protists), whereas one of the hallmarks of multicellular life has been a lot less crossover. Well, except for the sex part, but that's usually a very structured dance between very closely related branches (i.e. intra-species). So, some branches are more orderly, whereas the single-celled critters are a bit more, er, exotic with respect to how they exchange genetic material. That's probably because they are such stripped-down reproduction machines that they can afford to be more sloppy with their "code integrity", because that let's them pick up new things that might be useful (e.g., antibiotic resistance), whereas the more elaborate and long-lived creatures can't really afford a heavy load of the defects that would go along with too much exchange of genetic material with entirely different creatures (incompatible code). If you're reproducing really, really, really fast at exponential rates (e.g., bacteria and other prokaryotes), then accumulating a few defective/experimental individuals is no big deal. Selection will take care of it. If you're investing years into an individual and building up a massive and intricately-interdependent code base to grow a large body with cellular differentiation and such, then there would probably be an advantage to have things a bit more structured, and being a little more conservative about incorporating huge swaths of new code that might break things badly. There's no clear advantage to either approach, apparently, because life continues to try both approaches, although it could be argued that bacteria and related prokaryotic groups are a lot more successful than anything else on Earth in terms of sheer numbers, mass, niches exploited, or persistence in the face of adversity.

Being one myself, I have to think that multicellular creatures are pretty cool, but they do tend to be fragile and slow to adapt compared to our prokaryotic brethren, which are freakishly durable. We probably couldn't get rid of those other guys unless we boiled the oceans and practically melted the crust of the Earth. Persistent and adaptable little bugs. Then again, if I was one of those single-celled prokaryotes I wouldn't exactly be thinking about anything, so I'm still rather fond of multicellularity and the extravagance of having dedicated neural tissues.

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39844157)

You've just described my last programming contract.

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843141)

Gee Sam, you took all the fun out of it.

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843159)

Nice cover of it. Much better than TFS/TFA.

The only thing I'd want to add - while TFS/TFT said origin of the "tree of life" - I believe it would be closest to the eukaryotic branch of the tree. That lines up pretty well with the 1 billion years estimate as well.

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (3, Funny)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843163)

Cthulhu's gunna be pretty mad when he wakes up to find people have tramped through his shrubbery.

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (5, Funny)

avgjoe62 (558860) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844587)

Cthulhu's gunna be pretty mad when he wakes up to find people have tramped through his shrubbery.

You mean then that dead Cthulhu's first words upon waking from a pleasant dream in his house at R'lyeh will be, "Hey! You damned kids get off my lawn!!"

Re:A bit of explanation to save you from RTFAing (1)

roblarky (1103715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843715)

I do love me some "horizontal gene transfer", if ya know what I mean. *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*

hi ! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843041)

a posts very good !
www.maydohuyetap.vn

Re:hi ! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843103)

a post is fine too.

Re: Organism Closest To Original "Tree of Life" Di (1)

sixtyeight (844265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843075)

Organism Closest To Original "Tree of Life" Discovered

Eating of its fruit doesn't confer immortality per se, but many congenital defects abate, the skin regains elastin and the libido is enhanced significantly.

Re: Organism Closest To Original "Tree of Life" Di (4, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843111)

Nah, we already know what fruit the Tree of Life gave. It's the banana—haven't you seen the totally informative and 100% factual [youtube.com] explanation of how perfect it is?

...

...

I eagerly await to see how many moderators and respondents do not realise that this post is sarcastic.

Re: Organism Closest To Original "Tree of Life" Di (1)

sixtyeight (844265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843155)

Oh dear.

I'm not sure which was worse: the title, the reasoning, or the fact that I counted the number of single entendres in the low single digits.

Love the way he aims it, phaser-like, at the viewer as he completes his delivery of the opening line.

Re: Organism Closest To Original "Tree of Life" Di (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844681)

I guess He wasn't so keen on us eating mangoes then. And where did He put the easy-open tab on the cow?

Misleading title (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843175)

It's a eukaryote, which is not at the base of the "tree of life," by a long shot. Neat to have a possible basal eukaryote though.

Re:Misleading title (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843705)

Why would that be neat? Wanna keep it for a pet? Wanna show the neighbors that you're "cultured?"

really? (2, Insightful)

symes (835608) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843195)

I can't say I know a great deal about this area but it strikes me that "gene sequence does not match any known organism living on earth today" is not appropriate, seeing as we know so very little about what is crawling around the deepest parts of our oceans. It could well be this Norwegian fellow is quite ordinary.

Re:really? (5, Insightful)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843215)

So, your problem is with the fact that it doesn't match any known organism, because we don't know what else might be out there?

Re:really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843431)

The real problem is that the summary says "gene sequence does not match any known organism living on earth today", but the article says "have only found a partial match with a gene sequence in Tibet." Also, "It is conceivable that only a few other species exist in this family branch of the tree of life, which has survived all the many hundreds of millions of years since the eukaryote species appeared on Earth for the first time."

Summary fail.

Re:really? (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843877)

So, your problem is with the fact that it doesn't match any known organism, because we don't know what else might be out there?

Well, didn't a wise man once say that there were "known unknowns" and "unknown unknowns"?

please (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843201)

I'm tired of these wild assumptions that are proclaimed as fact by "science" and then refuted changed or updated. There really seems to be another agenda involved. If this is what all life originated from how did the original organism stay the same over millions of years but at the same time evolve into all living life with no signs at all of anything intermediate? Are the people financing this ridiculous research the same ones making money from ecstasy factories, Broadway at home, and mind control media? So desperate to try to prove there's no Divine yet the whole Bing bang theory is completely floored and still taught in brainwash education.

Re:please (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843309)

The research may or may not be ridiculous. The reporting on it is, but that's journalism for you.

Re:please (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844769)

If this is what all life originated from how did the original organism stay the same over millions of years but at the same time evolve into all living life with no signs at all of anything intermediate?

There was once a family of spearmakers. They were very good at making spears, and people would come from miles around to buy their spears. Because they were so good, the family prospered and multiplied. Then someone invented the sword, and the market for spears dropped, so half the family started making swords. They were very good at making swords, and people would come from miles around to buy their swords. Because they were so good, the family prospered and multiplied. Then someone invented the pistol, and half the family started making pistols. They were very good at making pistols, and people would come from miles around to buy their pistols. Because they were so good, the family prospered and multiplied. This family is now one of the biggest small-arms manufacturers in their country. Somewhere along the line, the branch that continued to produce swords stopped. And yet away in a little mountain village, there's a man descended from the original spear-makers who continues to make traditional spears as ornaments, film props and tourist souvenirs....

Re:please (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39845007)

Someones been reading to man Cussler novels

Re:please (1)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 2 years ago | (#39845027)

A weapons analogy? C'mon, you're supposed to use cars!

(very good analogy though)

Not so quickly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843205)

I had the original tree of life growing in my back yard. And I know that you're not close to it.
God.

Re:Not so quickly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843317)

I had that God once.
Mary

Re:Not so quickly... (1)

mudshark (19714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843359)

Mary?? As in "Virgin Mary?" You had that god all right!

Wrong headline! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843219)

It might be a basal eukaryote, but that does not make it basal life, i.e. bacteria and archaea were present on Earth for ~2 billion years before eukaryotes came about..

Pak Protectors? (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843269)

Does this mean we are going to be overun with Pak Protectors.

So does this mean... (2)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843447)

From TFA

They compared its genome with those in hundreds of databases around the world, with little luck. In all that looking they "have only found a partial match with a gene sequence in Tibet.

Is it part of the Rinpoche system? The next Dali Lama perhaps?

Read it wrong... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843459)

...and I keep reading it wrong?! Orga*NI*sm damnit... Orga*NI*sm! Read either way there is some truth to the "tree of life" thing but still.

Re:Read it wrong... (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843949)

Life probably didn't evolve orgasms until way later. There's not much excitement to be had in cellular division.

Re:Read it wrong... (3, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844287)

[music]...breakin' up is hard to do... [/music]

Probably not like chicken (1)

pianophile (181111) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843769)

But what does it taste like?

Re:Probably not like chicken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39844249)

Steak with mushrooms and a salad, all melded in to one scoop of protozoan goodness.

Re:Probably not like chicken (1)

windwalkr (883202) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844307)

Yam.

Re:Probably not like chicken (1)

voidphoenix (710468) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844949)

But what does it taste like?

Spam.

mistake-ridden article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843813)

The cited article has so many mistakes, it is frightening. I know that protists are esoteric, but it probably would have been better to get a better consultant to read over the article before it was posted.

Organisms didn't spawn animal life in Earth! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843865)

"It is believed to be the closest living organism to the original organisms that spawned all animal life on earth."

Of course, God created all of the animals and other creeping things and gave us (who are not animals) dominion over all the other living things.These little organisms they found in the lake in Norway are no exception to what God created and gave us dominion over. Everything is there for a reason... probably an ecological reason. Scientists need to stop pretending they know everything.

GOD created all life after He created the heavens and the earth!

The two main problems with TFA (1)

fusellovirus (1386571) | more than 2 years ago | (#39843933)

1.Assuming we all evolved from a universal common ancestor we are all equidistant to the original tree of life
2.The organism did not evolve x years ago...it has and will continue to evolve throughout it's existence

Re:The two main problems with TFA (2)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844823)

1.Assuming we all evolved from a universal common ancestor we are all equidistant to the original tree of life

That depends entirely on your metric. If it's by years, we're equidistant. If it's by genetic difference, we're pretty far away from the origin, and this things pretty close. If it's by generations, we're pretty close, and it's pretty far away. (Human mean-time-to-reproduction in the order of decades, primitive cellular culture mean-time-to-reproduction in the order of seconds.)

oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39844033)

wow.

i would love to be on the team looking at that.

sigh, such is life.

No! Bad Summary! (3, Informative)

denmarkw00t (892627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844229)

From The Herp Derp Summary:

this beasty combines genetic characteristics across plant, animal, and fungal kingdoms

This is never actually mentioned in the article, in fact...

From TFA (emphasis mine):

They found it doesn't genetically fit into any of the previously discovered kingdoms of life. It's an organism with membrane-bound internal structures, called a eukaryote, but genetically it isn't an animal, plant, fungi, algae or protist (the five main groups of eukaryotes).

To me, at least, that doesn't say that it necessarily has characteristics from all of those kingdoms, and certainly doesn't imply that it "combines" them.

Horrible, ambiguous, summary (3, Insightful)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844917)

...benign algae eating protozoan...

So was it:
1) a protozoan that eats benign algae (a benign-algae-eating protozoan ...)
2) a benign protozoan that eats algae (a benign, algae-eating protozoan ...)
3) a benign algae that was observed eating a protozoan (a benign algae, eating protozoan, ... [newspaper headline style])

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>