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Do we know for sure that there are only three domains of life (Bacteria, Archaea, Eukarya)?
Posted on March 15, 2007 at 10:50 AM in Talmudic Questions, Teachers Corner | Permalink
I wonder if factitian has this right. In terms of the Sargasso sea project and other metagenomics projects, here's a question; would we know it when we saw it? After all, the Archaea as a third domain wasn't exactly obvious to all or easily accepted. We probably have a decent idea of the phylogenetic signature (assuming we agree that rDNA sequence or some other universal gene or gene set can be used), but the assumptions are quite damning, in terms of discovery. Remember (and I hope I have this right) that extremophiles and methanogens were identified biochemically first, and only afterwards recognized as a novel domain. People are remarkably good at fitting even the oddest things into a paradigm (as referred by Alan in comment two). Fun to think about, as a talmudic question should be!
Paul Orwin |
March 16, 2007 at 10:01 AM
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