Encyclopedia of microbe genomes underway

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - 16:35 in Biology & Nature

Genome scientists from the US and Germany have assembled the first pages of a comprehensive encyclopedia of genomes of all the microbes on Earth. There are estimated to be a nonillion -- 1 followed by 30 zeroes -- prokaryotic microbes on the planet. Unlike eukaryotic organisms such as people, yeast and oak trees, the cells of prokaryotes have no membrane wrapped around their DNA. They are divided into two major groups: Bacteria, including a tiny minority that make people sick, and the Archaea, which include organisms that can survive in extreme environments such as hot springs.

Read the whole article on Science Daily

More from Science Daily

Latest Science Newsletter

Get the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!

Check out our next project, Biology.Net