Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A New Domain of Life

http://www.economist.com/node/18437900?story_id=18437900

A new domain of life – Plenty more bugs in the sea - and the vocabulary


Tantalising – possible, tempting

gap – space, hole

lumps – groups

creatures – e.g. animals

disease – sickness

crucial – essential, very important

ring – circle

float around – move, but without any power of their own

methane – a gas

stretch back – go back, stretch = make longer

in the shadows – not highlighted, not in the sunlight

missed – not seen

tools – instruments

suggest – imply


draw a conclusion (conclusion was drawn) – deduce, answer, find a solution

having been fired – lost his job, thrown out, made redundant, sacked

hard cash – readily accessible money

killer app – revolutionary application, application that beats the competition, major advantage

shotgun – a gun for shooting birds, it fires pellets, not bullets

handle – deal with, process

stitches – sews, joins

overlaps – parts that duplicate, one part is the same as another

trick – clever solution

sample – representation, partial collection, example

hot springs – natural sources of hot water (like thermal baths)

combing - analysing in detail

and lo – old English - “what a surprise” - “look”

accrete – accumulate

ubiquitous – found everywhere, omnipresent

novel – new

uncharacterised – not defined

lacuna – gap, space, lack

winnow – extract in small quantities


and of course the important difference between: known unknown and unknown unknown


What are the current 3 domains of life ? - Eukaryotes, Bacteria, Archaea

Where was evidence of the new domain found ? In the sea

What is the new evidence ? – parts of the evolutionary trees of 2 genes – RecA RpoB - do not fit with existing ones -

so either the trees are wrong or this is a new domain of life...

Why did Craig Ventner have time to “cruise the world” ? - he had no other job, he was paid to leave Celera Genomics

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