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The study looked at protein structures in viruses and across all superkingdoms, or domains, of life: from the single-celled microbes known as bacteria and archaea, to eukaryotes, a group that includes animals, plants, fungi and all other living things.
Any scientist would be thrilled at discovering a new species, but Woese had unexpectedly dredged up an entire superkingdom.
It was determined that these genes originated in eukaryotic organisms, a superkingdom of organisms including animalia, characterized by membrane-enclosed nuclei containing chromosomes of DNA, RNA and proteins.