The tree of life  updated July 28, 2005  D. Carrigan carrigan@fnal.gov (subject line must be sensible)

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Tree of life
Much of this "tree of life" has been added since 1950. Biology is no longer just plants and animals. So-called extremophiles have been popping up in a number of unusual places such as deep-sea hydrothermal vents and very salty environments (halophiles). Indeed nearly all the earth’s surface layer, wet, dry, land, sea, and even ice is permeated with life. Life fits many environments! This is one of the aspects that helped to speed life along! A second, almost crazy factor is the idea of endosymbiosis, the concept that some early creatures evolved as aggregations of one cell or relatively simple structures. For electronic systems this is not an unusual notion at all but it is surprising to think that it could have worked with the evolution of life. Lynn Margulis is one of the main proponents of this idea.