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Montana State University scientists have found a new lineage of microbes living in Yellowstone National Park's thermal features that sheds light on the origin of life, the evolution of archaeal life and the importance of iron in early life.

Professor William Inskeep and his team of researchers published their findings May 14 in the scientific journal Nature Microbiology.

"The discovery of archaeal lineages is critical to our understanding of the universal tree of life and evolutionary history of the Earth," the group wrote. "Geochemically diverse thermal environments in Yellowstone National Park provide unprecedented opportunities for studying archaea in habitats that may represent analogues of early Earth."

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Category: Science