New lifeforms discovered that may revolutionize science!

by simonsaad on September 17, 2017 - 6:14pm

New lifeforms discovered that may revolutionize science!


Contrary to popular belief, we humans are very far from knowing about every living thing on the planet. As a matter of act, previous studies show that over 98% of the Earth’s species are yet to be discovered. This is because the great majority of living organisms on our planet are extremely small; they are what we call bacteria and archaebacteria. Unfortunately, these organisms can be extremely difficult to study, since they usually only grow and live in their own environment. For example, a certain bacteria might only live inside the gut of a giraffe, or in the very bottom of the ocean! However, a new method, using genetic analysis, has allowed Australian researchers to discover thousands of these species that were previously almost impossible to study. But how is this revolutionary?

 

To begin, the discovery of these organisms can greatly enlarge the world’s knowledge in terms of biology. The researchers were able to add twenty new big branches, called phyla, to the known tree of life. This is extremely relevant, since one single phylum can contain an enormous amount of species. For instance, all animals containing backbones, including mammals, reptiles and birds are part of the same phylum, while all invertebrates, including insects and spiders, are part of a different one. Therefore, adding twenty phyla to the tree of life is a huge advancement in biology. These discoveries might also help us develop knowledge about our own origins; we might learn more about the common ancestor that we share with all living species on our planet!

 

Moreover, discovering new organisms does not only influence the world’s scientific knowledge in biology. It can also have great impacts on medicine, industrial development and environment. For now, the new microbes are yet to be studied on a deeper level, but when they will be, scientists might discover microbes that could be extremely useful to our wellbeing. For instance, they might discover new antibiotics, a bacterium that could break down plastic to reduce pollution or even a microbe that can help us create artificial fuel for the cars we use!

 

In brief, these discoveries could be life-changing and may have a direct impact on all of our lives. To read more about the subject, you may read the complete article: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2146942-thousands-of-new-lifeforms-discovered-that-redraw-tree-of-life/