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Friday, January 12, 2007

New Life Forms Found In Arctic Ocean


Aquaman © DC Comics
Artic Ocean researchers have discovered a new group of microscopic organisms, which they have baptized "picobiliphytes": pico because of their extremely small size, measured in millionths of a meter, bili because they contain biliproteins, highly fluorescent substances that transform light into biomass, and phyte meaning they are plants.

The discovery came from carefully analyzing DNA sequences belonging to vast communities of micro-organisms living in the ocean. "There was one group of sequences that just didn't line up with any of the known groups," explains Dr. Lovejoy. "In fact, the divergence of this group from known organisms is as great as the difference between land plants and animals," adds the scientist. link

Picobiliphytes: A Marine Picoplanktonic Algal Group with Unknown Affinities to Other Eukaryotes. 2006. F. Not et al. Science 315: 253-255.

Picobiliphytes Will Rock You!: