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Scientists say they have just now discovered an entirely new branch on the tree of life. It's made up of mysterious microscopic organisms. They're related to fungus, but they are so different, you could argue that they deserve their very own kingdom, alongside plants and animals.
Biologists figure they've probably only cataloged about 10 percent of all fungal species. But they thought they at least knew all of the major groups.
A paper being published in the journal Nature says that isn't so. Thomas Richards, at the Natural History Museum in London, says biologists can mostly only study microscopic fungi if they can grow them in the lab.
Because they apparently lack a protein in their cell walls that is a defining feature of fungi, you could argue that they aren't actually a member of the fungus kingdom but deserve an entire kingdom of their own. And before you get too comfortable with the idea that all of these species just hang out in ponds or sediments, James adds, "there could be some human parasites in here eventually discovered."