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tree of Life Grants Awarded
One of the most profound ideas to emerge in modern science is Charles
Darwin's concept that all of life, from the smallest microorganism to the
largest vertebrate, is connected through genetic relatedness in a vast
genealogy. This "Tree of Life" summarizes all we know about biological
diversity and underpins much of modern biology, yet many of its branches
remain poorly known and unresolved.
To help scientists discover what Darwin described as the tree's
"everbranching and beautiful ramifications," the National Science
Foundation (NSF) has awarded $17 million in "Assembling the Tree of Life"
grants to researchers at more than 25 institutions. Their studies range
from investigations of entire pieces of DNA to assemble the bacterial
branches; to the study of the origins of land plants from algae; to
understanding the most diverse group of terrestrial predators, the
spiders; to the diversity of fungi and parasitic roundworms; to the
relationships of birds and dinosaurs.
Grant awards are at http://www.nsf.gov/bio/pubs/awards/atol_02.htm