Latest Metagenomics Stories

2008-11-06 09:00:00

Using the Genome Sequencer System from 454 Life Sciences, a Roche company, French scientists have identified a small virus that can actually be parasitic to a larger one. The 50 nm virus, named Sputnik, is associated with a new strain of the giant Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV) and is believed to represent a currently unknown family of viruses. The study, entitled "The virophage as a unique parasite of the giant mimivirus," appeared in the September 4th issue of Nature (1). The...

2008-08-20 03:00:00

By Drenovsky, Rebecca E Feris, Kevin P; Batten, Katharine M; Hristova, Krassimira ABSTRACT.- Interest in the relationships between soil microbial communities and ecosystem functions is growing with increasing recognition of the key roles microorganisms play in a variety of ecosystems. With a wealth of microbial methods now available, selecting the most appropriate method can be daunting, especially to those new to the field of microbial ecology. In this review, we highlight those methods...

2008-08-19 12:15:00

U.S. scientists say they've created a method that can extract single genomes and discern specific microbial capabilities from sequence data. Researchers from the University of Washington and the U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute say they have developed a novel approach for extracting single genomes and then discerning specific microbial capabilities from metagenomic sequence data. Metagenomics is the study of genetic material recovered directly from environmental samples....

2008-06-26 15:02:24

ROCKVILLE, Md. and LA JOLLA, Calif., June 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit genomic research organization, today announced that Robert Friedman, Ph.D., has been named the new Deputy Director of the JCVI La Jolla, California facility. The organization also announced the promotion of several key science leaders -- Karen Nelson, Ph.D., Samuel Levy, Ph.D., and Yu-Hui Rogers, in the Rockville, Maryland headquarters. In his new role, Dr....

2008-03-17 14:52:35

Viruses and bacterial viruses (known as phages) are among the most abundant life forms on the planet. Two papers published recently in Nature, March 2 and 12, 2008, analyze the geographical distribution of viral communities in modern organosedimentary structures (sedimentary features, built by the interaction of organisms and their environment) known as microbialites, the living analogues of the oldest fossils on Earth, and come up with some surprising nuggets of information.Microbialites...

2008-03-13 12:51:23

Microbial profiles serve as the ecological version of the human genome projectNowhere is the principle of "strength in numbers" more apparent than in the collective power of microbes: despite their simplicity, these one-cell organisms - which number about 5 million trillion trillion strong (no, that is not a typo) on Earth - affect virtually every ecological process, from the decay of organic material to the production of oxygen.But even though microbes essentially rule the Earth, scientists...

2008-03-04 11:59:29

Intriguing find reveals more mysteries from Mexico's Cuatro Cienegas Biologists examining ecosystems similar to those that existed on Earth more than 3 billion years ago have made a surprising discovery: Viruses that infect bacteria are sometimes parochial and unrelated to their counterparts in other regions of the globe. The finding, published online this week by the journal Nature, is surprising because bacteria are ubiquitous on Earth. They've been found from the upper reaches of the...

2008-03-03 16:20:00

Microbes living in the oceans play a critical role in regulating Earth's environment, but very little is known about their activities and how they work together to help control natural cycles of water, carbon and energy. A team of MIT researchers led by Professors Edward DeLong and Penny Chisholm is trying to change that. Borrowing gene sequencing tools developed for sequencing the human genome, the researchers have devised a new method to analyze gene expression in complex microbial...

2007-04-04 09:35:01

WASHINGTON -- The emerging field of metagenomics, where the DNA of entire communities of microbes is studied simultaneously, presents the greatest opportunity -- perhaps since the invention of the microscope -- to revolutionize understanding of the microbial world, says a new report from the National Research Council.  The report calls for a new Global Metagenomics Initiative to drive advances in the field in the same way that the Human Genome Project advanced the mapping of our genetic...

2007-03-11 10:43:52

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. -- Pink slime at the surface of water trickling through an old mine in California is proving to be a treasure for researchers in their quest to learn more about how bacterial communities exist in nature. A letter published in today's online edition of Nature shows that it is possible to follow what microorganisms are doing in their natural environment by identifying the range of proteins that they produce. The technique, utilized in a microbial community thriving in...

Word of the Day
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'