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Cataloging the World’s Microbiome

by Joshua New

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, the University of Chicago, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s La Jolla Laboratory have published the first dataset for the Earth Microbiome Project (EMP), an ambitious initiative to catalogue every bacteria in the world. EMP researchers used a technique called 16S rRNA sequence to barcode 308,000 different bacteria found in 27,000 samples from 43 different countries. Based on the analysis of these genetic barcodes, 88 percent of the microbes cataloged in the EMP dataset have never been named.

Get the data.

Image: NIAID

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