In three new metagenomic studies published online in the open-access journal PLoS Biology, Craig Venter and his team take advantage of the vast amount of microbial sequence data collected during their Sorcerer II Global Ocean Sampling (GOS) expedition to reveal an unprecedented level of genetic and protein diversity in marine microbes.
Venter's team combined the expedition's latest bounty, 6.5 million sequencing "reads," with data previously collected during a pilot study in the Sargasso Sea. The result is a geographically diverse environmental genomic dataset of 6.3 billion base pairs—twice the size of the human genome.
The first paper and accompanying poster by Douglas B. Rusch and colleagues describe the immense amount of microbial diversity in the seas, and discuss how—or if—that diversity is structured and what might be shaping that structure. The second paper by Shibu Yooseph and colleagues studies the 6.12 million proteins identified in the GOS sequences to see if we're close to discovering all the proteins in nature. In the third study, Natarajan Kannan, Susan S. Taylor, Gerard Manning, and colleagues present their classification of 45,000 kinases (including 16,000 from the GOS dataset) into 20 distinct families, revealing their structural and functional diversity and an unexpected role for kinases in prokaryotic signaling.
This collection also includes an accessible and nontechnical summary of the broad significance of this research by Liza Gross. Some unexpected intellectual property challenges have arisen from this project, and these are explored in a feature by Henry Nicholls. A "challenge series" essay by Jonathan Eisen provides insight into the issues surrounding the field of metagenomics today.
To host all the additional metadata that surround metagenomic studies, a new database, CAMERA, has been established, funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The GOS data are publicly available and ready for mining in CAMERA. You can read about the capabilities of CAMERA in a Community Page article by Rekha Seshadri and colleagues.
Natalie Bouaravong | EurekAlert!
A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
21.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences