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Re: tree of Life Grants Awarded

I wrote an article for the November 9 print edition of New Scientist on the project; I don't believe it's up on the web. Mark Norell at AMNH is heading a project on dinosaurs, which several others involved including Peter Makovicky at the Field Museum. They will be developing a comprehensive data base of significant dinosaur fossils, including digitized images. The entire Tree project is neat, and NSF expects to support it for something like 15 years.

-- Jeff Hecht

At 4:56 PM -0700 11/19/02, Richard W Travsky wrote:

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

-- Jeff Hecht, science & technology writer jeff@jeffhecht.com; http://www.jeffhecht.com Boston Correspondent: New Scientist magazine Contributing Editor: Laser Focus World, WDM Solutions 525 Auburn St., Auburndale, MA 02466 USA v. 617-965-3834; fax 617-332-4760