Monday, August 07, 2006

 

Deep Oceans Called Home Of Diverse Microbial Life

The Washington Post 'Science Notebook' (scroll down the page for this item): Scientists fishing for genes in the deep oceans have netted a huge catch of surprisingly diverse genetic snippets, providing the best evidence yet that the seas are home to far more microbial diversity than researchers had thought.

The work indicates that the world's oceans, once thought to be virtually sterile on the microbial scale, are teeming with bacteria and related organisms that have been evolving and swapping genes for billions of years.

Mitchell Sogin of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., led the new work - part of an ongoing census of marine microbial life. [microbes]

The paper the above refers to is:

Microbial diversity in the deep sea and the underexplored "rare biosphere" [Abstract] [Full Text (pdf)]

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