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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old July 26 2013, 12:32 PM   #1
Llama
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New 4th Domain of Life discovered?

The 5 kingdoms of life (plants, animals, fungi, Protista, bacteria) was replaced by the 3 Domains of life (eukarya = plants, animals, fungi and Protista; bacteria; and archea = extremophiles).

Now biologists have discovered 2 new species of giant viruses (that are bigger than some bacteria and can be seen using light microscopes) that have huge genomes (over 1000 genes, most viruses have less than 10 genes) and most of their genes a completely new to science (meaning they are evolutionarily not related to any other known life form)

It's still early, but we might need a 4th domain of life...

Checkout this summary from Nature, including a photo:

http://www.nature.com/news/giant-vir...-s-box-1.13410

As an evolutionary geneticists I'm excited about the possibilities
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Old July 26 2013, 12:44 PM   #2
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Re: New 4th Domain of Life discovered?

Been there, done that...

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Old July 26 2013, 03:28 PM   #3
Timelord Victorious
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Re: New 4th Domain of Life discovered?

Cool story.
This discovery might provide some great insight into early evolution after the first self replicating molecules appeared.
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Old July 26 2013, 11:41 PM   #4
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Re: New 4th Domain of Life discovered?

Ugh...giant virus...
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Old July 27 2013, 05:34 AM   #5
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Re: New 4th Domain of Life discovered?

publiusr wrote: View Post
Ugh...giant virus...
Don't worry, they only infect amoebas...as far as we know...
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Old July 27 2013, 07:21 AM   #6
Timelord Victorious
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Re: New 4th Domain of Life discovered?

Llama wrote: View Post
publiusr wrote: View Post
Ugh...giant virus...
Don't worry, they only infect amoebas...as far as we know...
Yeah, though the bit about the virusinside the amoeba that lived in a contact lense that woman put into her eye everyday is chilling.
One reason not to use permanent lenses an sterilising them every day.
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Old July 27 2013, 07:37 PM   #7
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Re: New 4th Domain of Life discovered?

Llama wrote: View Post
...and most of their genes a completely new to science (meaning they are evolutionarily not related to any other known life form)
Would this then be evidence of abiogenesis occurring more than once, or do you mean something else?
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Old July 27 2013, 09:30 PM   #8
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Re: New 4th Domain of Life discovered?

Hard to say. I seem to remember, at the forum of Phil Plait, a claim about certain life-forms near volcanoes that were missing certain bits...maybe that is abiogenisis happening.

I myself think that vorticity may be key. I seem to remember an early phot of the Xenia Ohio F-5 tornado with two suction vortices that formed a double helix.

A tornado is a type of updraft, and I have also seen funnels by plants:
http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/show...nt-steam-plume

I can't help but wonder if--back when the earth was hotter--we had smokers near river deltas.

Vortex-stirring of organics might be a good way to spin up life. Biology only takes you so far back--and chemistry only so far forward.

This is why folks don't understand evolution. It wasn't just a warm pond where something just happened. We have had impacts, smokers, huge tides stirring things up--it is all very active. The ponds are just shelters where life can catch its breath for a moment and flourish.
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Old July 28 2013, 04:43 AM   #9
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Re: New 4th Domain of Life discovered?

publiusr wrote: View Post
Ugh...giant virus...
It's called a macrovirus.... hellllllloooo!
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Old July 28 2013, 05:35 AM   #10
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Re: New 4th Domain of Life discovered?

PurpleBuddha wrote: View Post
Llama wrote: View Post
...and most of their genes a completely new to science (meaning they are evolutionarily not related to any other known life form)
Would this then be evidence of abiogenesis occurring more than once, or do you mean something else?
It could be - there is still so much we don't know. I think it's unlikely that life only started once and that everything evolved from that first single cell (seems to Adam and Eve to me). I'm sure life occurred several times, some lineages died out, some combined (like ancient archea and bacteria fusing to become eukaryotes, or modern bacteria swapping plasmids). What ever the truth is, it's probably way more complicated than we think (and ultimately unknowable, it will just be hypotheses and conjecture)

I read a hypothesis that these megaviruses might have once been proper cells, which might explain their large genomes (this doesn't feel right to me as it doesn't explain where their protein coat came from)
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Old July 28 2013, 10:09 AM   #11
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Re: New 4th Domain of Life discovered?

Llama wrote: View Post
PurpleBuddha wrote: View Post
Llama wrote: View Post
...and most of their genes a completely new to science (meaning they are evolutionarily not related to any other known life form)
Would this then be evidence of abiogenesis occurring more than once, or do you mean something else?
It could be - there is still so much we don't know.
It would be interesting to see what they get from sequencing the genome of these new things.

I think it's unlikely that life only started once and that everything evolved from that first single cell (seems to Adam and Eve to me). I'm sure life occurred several times, some lineages died out, some combined (like ancient archea and bacteria fusing to become eukaryotes, or modern bacteria swapping plasmids).
If that's the case, we should see that the genetic code of the organelles is significantly different to the code of the nucleus. My understanding is that this isn't the case.

What ever the truth is, it's probably way more complicated than we think (and ultimately unknowable, it will just be hypotheses and conjecture)
True, it will turn out to be quite complicated, I think, but I think we'll be able to figure out enough to get a very good idea of what actually happened.
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Old July 28 2013, 12:06 PM   #12
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Re: New 4th Domain of Life discovered?

PurpleBuddha wrote: View Post
Would this then be evidence of abiogenesis occurring more than once
Did Life Evolve In Ice?
http://discovermagazine.com/2008/feb...evolve-in-ice/

Gerald Pollack: Electrically Structured Water, Part 1
http://youtu.be/JnGCMQ8TJ_g

Gerald Pollack: Electrically Structured Water, Part 2
http://youtu.be/hqHWueBp23c

And perhaps life (at the most basic level) is more commonplace in the universe than ever expected.
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Old July 28 2013, 07:15 PM   #13
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Re: New 4th Domain of Life discovered?

Tiberius wrote: View Post
Been there, done that...

Got the T-shirt when the Holodoc was a glint in his programmer's eye

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Old July 28 2013, 09:45 PM   #14
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Re: New 4th Domain of Life discovered?

Tiberius wrote: View Post
Llama wrote: View Post
PurpleBuddha wrote: View Post

Would this then be evidence of abiogenesis occurring more than once, or do you mean something else?
It could be - there is still so much we don't know.
It would be interesting to see what they get from sequencing the genome of these new things.

I think it's unlikely that life only started once and that everything evolved from that first single cell (seems to Adam and Eve to me). I'm sure life occurred several times, some lineages died out, some combined (like ancient archea and bacteria fusing to become eukaryotes, or modern bacteria swapping plasmids).
If that's the case, we should see that the genetic code of the organelles is significantly different to the code of the nucleus. My understanding is that this isn't the case.
To the best of my knowledge mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA is bacterial in origin and nuclear DNA is Archean in origin. I can't remember if I read that in an article or saw it in a doco so I can't verify that claim
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Old July 29 2013, 09:21 AM   #15
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Re: New 4th Domain of Life discovered?

Llama wrote: View Post
Tiberius wrote: View Post
Llama wrote: View Post

It could be - there is still so much we don't know.
It would be interesting to see what they get from sequencing the genome of these new things.

I think it's unlikely that life only started once and that everything evolved from that first single cell (seems to Adam and Eve to me). I'm sure life occurred several times, some lineages died out, some combined (like ancient archea and bacteria fusing to become eukaryotes, or modern bacteria swapping plasmids).
If that's the case, we should see that the genetic code of the organelles is significantly different to the code of the nucleus. My understanding is that this isn't the case.
To the best of my knowledge mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA is bacterial in origin and nuclear DNA is Archean in origin. I can't remember if I read that in an article or saw it in a doco so I can't verify that claim
Yes, but the bacteria and the archea both came from a common ancestor. They aren't the results of two completely independent rises of life.
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