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Origins of life

Common ancestry put to the test

Nature volume 465, pages 168169 (13 May 2010) | Download Citation

The question of whether or not all life on Earth has an ultimate common origin is a subtle one, complicated by the phenomenon of lateral gene transfer. It has now been tackled with a formal statistical analysis.

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Author notes

    • David Penny

    David Penny is at the Institute of Molecular BioSciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Both authors are members of the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution.


  1. Mike Steel is in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand.

    • Mike Steel


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