Genes that do the same thing in a human and a mouse are generally related by common descent from an ancestral gene in the first mammal. So by comparing their sequence of DNA letters, genes can be arranged in evolutionary family trees, a property that enabled Dr. Martin and his colleagues to assign the six million genes to a much smaller number of gene families. Of these, only 355 met their criteria for having probably originated in Luca, the joint ancestor of bacteria and archaea.Meet Luca, the Ancestor of All Living Things [more inside]
The hydrothermal vents between Easter Island and Juan Fernandez are considered to be the Earth's fastest spreading center at approximately 150km per million years. Not only is this a geological hotspot, but a biological one too where at temperatures of up to 187c and depths of 2200m researchers have discovered amongst other things a blind hairy albino lobster. Ladies, gentlemen and MeFites I present to you Kiwa hirsute (aka The Yeti Crab).