Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Understanding the oceans microbes is key to the Earth’s future

09.12.2005


Life on Earth may owe its existence to tiny microorganisms living in the oceans, but the effect of human-induced change on the vital services these microbes perform for the planet remains largely unstudied, says a report released today by the American Academy of Microbiology, entitled Marine Microbial Diversity: The Key to Earth’s Habitability.

"Since life most likely began in the oceans, marine microorganisms are the closest living descendants of the original forms of life," says Jennie Hunter-Cevera of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, one of the authors of the report, "They are also major pillars of the biosphere; their unique metabolisms allow marine microbes to carry out many steps of the biogeochemical cycles that other organisms are unable to complete. The smooth functioning of these cycles is necessary for life to continue on earth."

Early marine microorganisms also helped create the conditions under which subsequent life developed. More than two billion years ago, the generation of oxygen by photosynthetic marine microorganisms helped shape the chemical environment in which plants, animals, and all other life forms have evolved.



"A great deal of research on the biogeography of marine microorganisms has been carried out, but many unknowns persist and more work is needed to elucidate and understand their complexity," says co-author David Karl of the University of Hawaii. "Uppermost on this list of questions is what effects human-induced changes will have on the services marine microbes perform for the planet. Research on marine microbiology must continue or accelerate in order to solve these problems."

The report is the outcome of a colloquium convened by the Academy in April 2005 in San Francisco. Experts in microbial physiology, ecology, genetics, oceanography, invertebrate biology and virology gathered to discuss the importance of marine microorganisms to life on this planet, the biogeography of these organisms, their roles in symbiotic relationships and pathogenesis, their metabolic capabilities, their impacts on humans, and goals for research, training, and education in marine microbiology.

The report outlines a number of recommendations for future research in marine microbiology including the roles of both climate change and human activities on the populations and processes of marine microbes. The report also recommends fostering multidisciplinary collaborations and training as well as the development of a comprehensive marine microbiology textbook.

"Innovative approaches in research, education and training are critical for moving the field of marine microbiology forward," says Hunter-Cevera.

Angelo R. Bouselli | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asm.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona

nachricht Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>