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Researchers aim to assemble the tree of life for all 2 million named species
Date:5/21/2012

es and placing newly named or discovered species among their relatives. Eventually, the team's goal is to be able to detect when new trees are published and incorporate them automatically, so that the complete tree can be continuously updated.

If the project is to succeed, one of the biggest challenges will be encouraging more scientists to publish their results in digital form. Growing numbers of scientific journals now require authors to deposit phylogenetic data in a digital database, but many published trees never make it. "We hope to provide infrastructure and tools that will make it easier to do that, such as a more user-friendly interface for submitting data," Cranston said.

"In the long run, we hope this will become the central resource for synthesized phylogenetic data," she added.


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Contact: Robin Ann Smith
rsmith@nescent.org
919-668-4544
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)
Source:Eurekalert

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