Carl Woese publishes paper describing the discovery of Archaea, the third domain of life | 150 Engage Illinois Office of Corporate Relations
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Biologists originally believed all life on Earth belonged to one of two primary lineages, the eukaryotes (animals, plants, fungi and certain unicellular organisms) and the prokaryotes (all remaining microscopic organisms). Woese discovered within prokaryotes, two distinct groups of organisms exist, and due to his work it is now widely agreed that there are three primary divisions of living systems: the Eukarya, Bacteria, and the new group of organisms, the Archaea. Initially thought to exist only in extreme environments, microbiologists later realized Archaea are a large and diverse group, widely distributed in nature and commonly found in habitats such as soils and oceans.

Nov 01, 1977
Media Image: 
Carl R. Woese
Caption Text: 
Carl R. Woese