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Wise Young
08-01-2006, 04:37 PM
http://www.playfuls.com/news_001777_Oceans_the_surprising_cradle_of_a_lot_ more_life_than_expected.html


Oceans-the surprising cradle of a lot more life than expected
Research


01:45 PM, August 1st 2006
by Dan Nicolae Alexa

A single gulp of ocean water can contain more than 20,000 different types of bacteria and microbes, according to a recent investigation made by scientists.

"Microbes constitute the vast majority of marine biomass and are the primary engines of Earth's biosphere," said Dr Sogin, from the Marine Biological Laboratory's (MBL) Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative and Molecular Biology and Evolution, located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, US.

The findings suggest that microbial biodiversity is by far greater than previously anticipated, according to Mitchell Sogin, of the US Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and colleagues.

The study conducted by prestigious scientists has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and is part of the Census of Marine Life (CoML).

The method used to identify new “fragments” of life consists of gathering tiny probes of DNA (DNA snippets) and rapidly distinguish them. It is called "454 tag sequencing" and its tremendous advantage is that thousands of such tests can be conducted at the same time.

Other conclusions of the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences are referring to the fact that the species of microbes found in the sea water could be 10 to 100 times more abundant and that their role in the ecosystem is not yet fully understood, since many of these species are scarce and have a restraint living territory.

"This study shows we have barely scratched the surface. Over the last 10 to 20 years molecular studies have shown there to be more than 500,000 kinds of micro-organisms," Mitchell Sogin said.

"In our new study, we discovered more than 20,000 in a single litre of seawater, having expected just 1,000 to 3,000. These observations blow away all previous estimates of bacterial diversity in the ocean," he added.

"The number of different kinds of bacteria in the oceans could eclipse five million to 10 million."

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rfbdorf
08-02-2006, 12:34 AM
The amount of things yet to be discovered is staggering and awe-inspiring. And the more we know, the much more we realize there is to know.
- Richard