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Woese art., archaebact.

David Faguy, Ph.D. dfaguy at mail.arc.nasa.gov
Sun Aug 25 23:33:27 EST 1996

Axel Hunding wrote:
> In New Scientist, July 6, 1996, p 27, it is announced,
> that C. R. Woese `this month' plan to publish the sequence
> of an archaebacterium close to the common ancestor.
> Anyone know where it will appear ?The genome of Methanococcus jannaschii was published on Aug. 23. However, I 
don't think anyone could say that M. jannaschii is close to the (last) common 
ancestor.  It is exactly (in real time) the same 'distance' from the last common 
ancestor as you or I. The genome sequence  may (or may not) have evolved at 
a faster rate. In any case, M. jannaschii is very different from what the LCA could 
have been like.
Sorry if I sound overly didactic, but when people talk about the archaea as 'ancient' 
or 'primitive' it bothers me.
David Faguy
Exobiology Branch
NASA Ames Res. Ctr.

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