A2: Microbes in the News – Scientists Discover Nearly 200,000 Kinds of Ocean Viruses

Article:

https://www.quantamagazine.org/scientists-discover-nearly-200000-kinds-of-ocean-viruses-20190425/

Summary:

Researchers have assembled data from a global sampling expedition using genomic analysis and have increased the number of known oceanic viruses twelvefold.

Connections:

This is a story of people using the tools which we have been using to study the viruses we have been studying and improve the body of knowledge we have in this field.

Critical Analysis:

While microbiology has been studied in some manner since the early days of science the changes in the accuracy or our tools and the price of using them can dramatically change what we are able to accomplish. This article is just one example of how much more there is to learn in this field.

Question:

With a single study able to make such a large impact on the amount known, the question becomes how much more is there to know? I would not be at all surprised to see another twelvefold increase with the next study and another after that. If there is one thing that I have learned from this class it is that the microscopic world holds a multitude of secrets yet to be discovered.

1 Comment for “A2: Microbes in the News – Scientists Discover Nearly 200,000 Kinds of Ocean Viruses”

bacover

says:

What is that saying, something like 99% of our ocean has not been “discovered?” It is unsurprising that there was this many undiscovered viruses in the ocean, but I think that it is just the tip of the iceberg. With so much of the ocean unexplored, I’m sure there are so many more viruses and bacteria that we didn’t know existed. Maybe these deep sea bacteria hold the key to some cancer cure or miracle drug, or maybe their just microbes doing their microbe thing, some things we may never know.

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