Navigation Links
Using computers and DNA to count bacteria

Don't call them the Dirt Doctors, or Sultans of Soil, they're just clever Lab guys. A team from Los Alamos National Laboratory has a paper in this week's Science Magazine with a new way to count bugs in dirt. Bacteria, that is, in the highly complex world beneath our feet.

"Computational Improvements Reveal Great Bacterial Diversity and High Metal Toxicity in Soil," by Jason Gans, Murray Wolinsky and John Dunbar, of Los Alamos' Bioscience Division, describes a new approach to capturing the structure of bacterial communities in soil. In addition, the study provides insight into the devastating effects of metal pollution on those bacterial populations.

Why is this important, you ask? It turns out that in our technology-driven world, with biosensors in development for homeland security, emerging diseases surprising our medical communities and lifesaving medicines being extracted from jungle plants, we still don't know what's under our feet. The bacterial communities of every day soil are intensely complex, so diverse and densely populated, that normal measurement methods are overwhelmed.

"With improved analytical methods, we show that the abundance distribution and total diversity of soil-borne bacteria can be deciphered," said Dunbar.

"More than a million distinct genomes were present in the pristine soil, exceeding previous estimates by two orders of magnitude. When we examined the populations levels in metal-contaminated soil, we found the bacterial genetic diversity was reduced more than 99.9 percent," lead author Gans added.

The Los Alamos team used a technique known as DNA re-association, separating the two strands of all the bacterial DNA in a soil sample, blending them, and measuring the time it takes for the correct halves to properly reconnect.

As often happens at Los Alamos, where thousands of scientists from every imaginable discipline are gathered, the researchers form a multidisciplinary team, with Gans (b iophysicist), Wolinsky (physicist) and Dunbar (microbiologist) using their varied backgrounds to solve these types of knotty questions. Their new approach enables far more accurate measures of the contribution of microbes to global biodiversity and more importantly the impact of human activities on the organisms responsible for sustaining all higher life forms.


'"/>

Source:DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory


Related biology news :

1. Research Using Mouse Models Reveals A Novel Key Player In The Initiation Of Colon Cancer
2. Rush Physicians Using Gene Therapy For Heart Patients With Moderate To Severe Chest Pains Who Do Not Benefit From Other Treatments
3. Researchers Closer To Helping Hearing-Impaired Using Stem Cells
4. Using nanoparticles, in vivo gene therapy activates brain stem cells
5. Using the genomic shortcut to predict bacterial behavior
6. Using natures most primitive anti-viral defense system to find new approaches to cancer research
7. Using dental X-rays to detect osteoporosis
8. Using brain scans, researchers find evidence for a two-stage model of human perceptual learning
9. Using nanomagnets to enhance medical imaging
10. Programmable cells: Engineer turns bacteria into living computers
11. Supercomputers to focus brains on AIDS dilemma
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/2/2016)... Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, ... Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  The latest ... comprehensive analysis of the global Border Security market ... of $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: In ... in software and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... , May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , ... published the overview results from the Q1 wave of ... recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a program where ... with a health insurance company. "We were ... share," says Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... India and LONDON ... Infosys Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product ... and Onegini today announced a partnership to integrate ... solutions.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ... to provide their customers enhanced security to access ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/22/2016)...  According to Kalorama Information, the dominant trends ... include significant efforts in automation as well as ... affordable sequencers, say the healthcare market research firm, ... sample prep materials.  The healthcare market research company,s ... Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) , highlights major trends ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... DIEGO , June 22, 2016   ViaCyte, ... first pluripotent stem cell-derived islet replacement therapy for the ... presentations at ISSCR 2016 Annual Meeting.  ISSCR 2016, the ... to 25th at Moscone West in San Francisco.  ... of the presentations are as follows:Event: , Focus Session: ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 2016  Mesa Biotech Inc., a privately-held, molecular ... designed specifically for point-of-care (POC) infectious disease diagnosis, ... board (SAB). Approved by the executive leadership team ... to advise on the development and commercialization of ... Dr. Steve Young , this world-class team ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... China , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... 2 clinical trial for its novel patch product AB001 ... and clinically meaningful pain relief against placebo. Conducted at ... , the trial enrolled 146 patients with chronic ... analgesia against placebo at week-1 (p=0.024), (2) greater reduction ...
Breaking Biology Technology: