The Tree of Life flourishes on the Web

February 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: New study sheds light on origins of life on Earth through molecular function

Related Stories

How HIV became a matter of international security

May 16, 2017

Richard Holbrooke sat in a blue striped chair in the meeting room of the United Nations Security Council. It was a rainy, unseasonably warm January day in New York City, just ten days into the new millennium. Many people ...

Radiocarbon dating gets a postmodern makeover

April 25, 2017

For decades, radiocarbon dating has been a way for scientists to get a rough picture of when once-living stuff lived. The method has been revolutionary and remains one of the most commonly used dating methods to study the ...

Recommended for you

New technology could revolutionize 3-D printing

May 26, 2017

A technology originally developed to smooth out and pattern high-powered laser beams for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) can be used to 3-D print metal objects faster than ever before, according to a new study by Lawrence ...

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life

May 26, 2017

A team of scientists led by the University of Bristol has provided new insights into the origins of the Archaea, the group of simple cellular organisms that are the ancestors of all complex life.

NASA discovers a new mode of ice loss in Greenland

May 26, 2017

A new NASA study finds that during Greenland's hottest summers on record, 2010 and 2012, the ice in Rink Glacier on the island's west coast didn't just melt faster than usual, it slid through the glacier's interior in a gigantic ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.