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What we can know about biology before the last universal common ancestor is limited—and we should be circumspect in filling in the gaps.

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image: Contributors

Contributors

By Jim Daley | June 1, 2018

Meet some of the people featured in the June 2018 issue of The Scientist.

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image: From Little Things Big Things Grow

From Little Things Big Things Grow

By Bob Grant | June 1, 2018

We should take comfort in the fact that life on Earth had such unassuming, shared beginnings.

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The discovery of copious new archaeal species is shedding light on the tree of life and revealing some unique cellular biology.

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image: Opinion: Archaea Is Our Evolutionary Sister, Not Mother

Opinion: Archaea Is Our Evolutionary Sister, Not Mother

By Patrick Forterre, Violette Da Cunha, and Morgan Gaia | June 1, 2018

The ancient organisms appear to be more closely related to eukaryotes than previously appreciated.

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image: Archaea Family Tree Blossoms, Thanks to Genomics

Archaea Family Tree Blossoms, Thanks to Genomics

By Amber Dance | June 1, 2018

Identification of new archaea species elucidates the domain’s unique biology and sheds light on its relationship to eukaryotes.

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image: Final Nail Hammered into NgAgo Coffin

Final Nail Hammered into NgAgo Coffin

By Kerry Grens | August 3, 2017

The paper describing the gene-editing method is retracted.

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Scientists expand the microbial tree of life by publishing more than 1,000 novel reference genomes.  

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image: Researchers Discover Salt-Loving Methanogens

Researchers Discover Salt-Loving Methanogens

By Abby Olena | May 26, 2017

Two previously overlooked archaeal strains fill an evolutionary gap for microbes.

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image: Asgard Archaea Hint at Eukaryotic Origins

Asgard Archaea Hint at Eukaryotic Origins

By Joshua A. Krisch | January 18, 2017

A newly discovered superphylum of archaea may be related to a microbe that engulfed a bacterium to give rise to complex eukaryotic life.

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