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  How understanding biology’s tree of life can benefit our future


Narrator:       This is Science Today. The tree of life is a map of all living things on our planet and while the concept is not new, it's still a work in progress. Tomas Torak, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, explains that modern science has divided the tree into three main domains.

Torak:            Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryota. Filling in the details means a lot of really exciting challenges for modern biology in the 21st century. For example, we know absolutely nothing, above 99 plus percent of bacteria, so they cannot yet be represented on the tree of life. 

Narrator:       Torak says that understanding how the tree of life evolved and filling in the details has tremendous benefit for our future.

Torak:            We can take benefit of the biological diversity in solving some of the major challenges of our time, such as health care, agriculture production, energy production, carbon sequestration or global climate change.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.