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Started by Jacob_Richter on Nov 18, 2018 5:54:15 PM
Rare microbes lead scientists to discover new branch on the tree of life

Two species of the microscopic organisms, called hemimastigotes, were found in dirt collected on a whim during a hike in Nova Scotia by Dalhousie University graduate student Yana Eglit.

A genetic analysis shows they're more different from other organisms than animals and fungi (which are in different kingdoms) are from each other, representing a completely new part of the tree of life, Eglit and her colleagues report this week in the journal Nature.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/hemimastigotes-supra-kingdom-1.4715823

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thisonehasalittlehat - 18 Nov 2018 18:09:27 (#1 of 7)

What do they do?

brooklyn - 18 Nov 2018 18:29:47 (#2 of 7)

<<Hemimastix shoots little harpoons called extrusomes to attack prey such as Spumella, a relative of aquatic microbes called diatoms. It grasps its prey by curling its flagella around it, bringing it to a "mouth" on one end of the cell called a capitulum "as it presumably sucks its cytoplasm out," Eglit said.>>

I'm glad they're small.

FleurDuMal - 18 Nov 2018 19:58:01 (#3 of 7)

God yes! They sound terrifying!

frantastic - 18 Nov 2018 19:59:57 (#4 of 7)

Alien invaders who mis-judged the size of earth (a la HGTTG)?

thisonehasalittlehat - 18 Nov 2018 20:01:17 (#5 of 7)

I meant what can they do for us? Eat plastic? Make petrol? What?

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lammaMia - 19 Nov 2018 14:28:58 (#7 of 7)

It grasps its prey by curling its flagella around it, bringing it to a "mouth" on one end of the cell called a capitulum "as it presumably sucks its cytoplasm out

This is how I eat oysters.

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