Dating branches on the tree of life using dna

30 May

Their new classification is based on the genetic make-up of species rather than their physical characteristics.

Carl Woese of the University of Illinois and his colleagues have pioneered a description of the molecular differences which define the basic divisions of life.

You might suppose that it would be simple to answer this question: cut the tree down and count the rings.

Well, for various reasons, it usually just doesn't work that way.

The most common problem I encounter, though, is a seemingly simple one: how old is a certain tree?

However, for organisms where inheritance of traits is often reticulate, as with LGT in Bacteria and Archaea, the evolutionary histories of organismal lineages and their molecular traits can differ dramatically.

As a result, identifiable histories for organismal lineages can fade or disappear entirely for lack of characters sharing that same history, complicating recognition, and tracking of species or other taxa.

I'd say that Family Tree DNA tests are great value for money, but be prepared to hunt through their online resources to get the most from the results.

There were many ancestry tests listed on the Family Tree DNA website, these included: Y-DNA tests for tracing your paternal ancestry, mt DNA tests for tracing your maternal ancestry, a family finder test to help you find your living relatives, and combination packages which allowed you to purchase multiple tests at a discount.