The Tree of Life flourishes on the Web

Feb 20, 2006

Scientists say The Tree of Life -- a Web-based database of the relationships and characteristics of all groups of Earth organisms -- is growing.

Although originally started as a way for scientists to share data, project organizers now want members of the public to also contribute to the Tree of Life Web site.

The project, a collaboration of the world's scientists, is fundamentally a genealogy of life on Earth coupled with information about the characteristics of individual species and groups of organisms, said David Maddison, creator of the project and a professor of entomology at the University of Arizona-Tucson.

"My dream is to be able to do grand-scale analyses of patterns of life across all of life," said Maddison. "You need to think about the evolutionary tree along which genes have flowed in order to explain why organisms are as they are."

Katja Schulz, managing editor of the Tree of Life Project at the university, spoke Monday during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, explaining plans to allow the public to contribute.

She says she determined to "make this cool science available to the public."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: More than half of biology majors are women, yet gender gaps remain in science classrooms

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The devastating spread of the mountain pine beetle

Aug 27, 2014

When the mountain pine beetle began blazing a path across forests in British Columbia and Alberta, nobody could have imagined the extent of the damage to come. But as the insect devastated pine forests and ...

Invasive insect threatens iconic Florida citrus

Aug 24, 2014

The tourists stream to Florida in their cars, intent on a week at Disney or a sugar-sand seashore or a nonstop party on South Beach. Road weary and thirsty, they pull over at one of the state's five official ...

How steroid hormones enable plants to grow

Aug 19, 2014

Plants can adapt extremely quickly to changes in their environment. Hormones, chemical messengers that are activated in direct response to light and temperature stimuli help them achieve this. Plant steroid ...

Recommended for you

Modern population boom traced to pre-industrial roots

4 hours ago

The foundation of the human population explosion, commonly attributed to a sudden surge in industrialization and public health during the 18th and 19th centuries, was actually laid as far back as 2,000 years ...

Researcher looks at the future of higher education

4 hours ago

Most forecasts about the future of higher education have focused on how the institutions themselves will be affected – including the possibility of less demand for classes on campus and fewer tenured faculty members as ...

Now we know why it's so hard to deceive children

5 hours ago

Daily interactions require bargaining, be it for food, money or even making plans. These situations inevitably lead to a conflict of interest as both parties seek to maximise their gains. To deal with them, ...

User comments : 0