Tree of Life

What a cool project! I hope they share!

Assembling, Visualizing and Analyzing a Tree of All Life
National Science Foundation (06/04/12) Cheryl Dybas

The U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Assembling, Visualizing, and Analyzing the Tree of Life (AVAToL) program aims to build a comprehensive tree of life that brings together everything scientists know about how all species are related.

The researchers are creating the infrastructure and computational tools to enable automatic updating of the tree of life, as well as developing the analytical and visualization tools to study it. Assembling the branches for all species of animals, plants, fungi and microbes will require new computational tools for analyzing large data sets, for combining diverse kinds of data, and for connecting vast numbers of published trees into a synthetic whole. AVAToL will enable researchers to go online and compare their trees to others that have already been published.

The goal is to automatically incorporate new trees, so the complete tree can be continuously updated. The three NSF-funded AVAToL projects are Duke University’s Automated and Community-Driven Synthesis of the Tree of Life, the University of Idaho’s Arbor: Comparative Analysis Workflows for the Tree of Life, and SUNY-Stony Brook’s Next Generation Phenomics for the Tree of Life.

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