Can Less Comprehensive Analysis Produce Acceptable Phylogenetic Trees?

16 03 2010

Scientists conducting cladistic analysis have always had to face the issue that thorough analysis of data was computer intensive, requiring massive amounts of computer processing time, especially with large data sets.  As computer processors became more powerful, the added speed was more than offset by ever larger data sets.  The March 12 issue of Science offers two articles that discuss this problem and offer evidence that less comprehensive analysis, while not entirely as good as the thorough time-consuming kind, can still be “Surprisingly reliable”.  Is it reliable enough?  Judge for yourself.  The articles can be viewed (if you’re a subscriber) by following these two links:
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/327/5971/1334,
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/327/5971/1376.

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