Biodiversity of Indigenous Saccharomyces Populations from Old Wineries of South-Eastern Sicily: Preservation and Economic Potential

“We report on the remarkable degree of biodiversity in the wine yeast populations naturally present in a small area of Sicily where traditional (non-industrial) winery practices are still in place. Out of more than 900 yeast isolates recovered from late spontaneous fermentations, we detected at least 209 strains. Given that the characteristics of the wines […]

Session: The Earth Microbiome Project: Modeling the Microbial Planet (2012 AAAS Annual Meeting (16-20 February 2012))

“The Earth Microbiome Project (EMP) is the most ambitious attempt to provide a systematic characterization of the microbial world that dominates this planet. The ecosystem services provided by microbes in every environment (including the human body) are fundamental to the survival of life on this planet and the continued economic and physical health of the […]

Ecology drives a global network of gene exchange connecting the human microbiome : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

“Horizontal gene transfer — the exchange of genetic material between different species or lineages — is an important factor in bacterial evolution. A study of human microbiome data comprising more than 2,000 full bacterial genomes shows that this environment is a hotbed of horizontal gene transfer: pairs of bacteria isolated from the human body are […]

PLoS Biology: A Holistic Approach to Marine Eco-Systems Biology

“In summary, the Tara Oceans project leverages powerful new technologies and analytical tools to develop the first planetary-scale data collection effort that links biogeography with ecology, genetics, and morphology. Guided by the cross-disciplinary philosophy the pay-offs can be immense, considering the massive number of samples and data that have been collected, archived, and interconnected for […]

PLoS One: Global Patterns of Bacterial Beta-Diversity in Seafloor and Seawater Ecosystems

“This first synthesis of global bacterial distribution across different ecosystems of the World’s oceans shows remarkable horizontal and vertical large-scale patterns in bacterial communities. This opens interesting perspectives for the definition of biogeographical biomes for bacteria of ocean waters and the seabed.” This is one cool modern day ecological analysis. Read this article…

Want Fatter Cows? Bring In a Zebra – ScienceNOW

“”Natural selection has favored that mix,” says Johan du Toit, an ecologist at Utah State University in Logan. Natural selection, maybe, but not people. Convinced that other grass-chomping animals will drive their herds to starvation, ranchers in Kenya and elsewhere tend to keep their cattle separate from wildlife. But a new study suggests that thinking […]

Biosphere 2 Gets New Owner, Funding – ScienceInsider

“The future of Biosphere 2 as a scientific facility is on a firmer footing, thanks to two major gifts announced this week. On Friday, the University of Arizona (UA), which has managed the iconic glass pyramids as a tourist destination and research venue since 2007, will become the owner of the property.” Heh. I remember […]

Satellite tracking will reveal turtle wanderings : Nature News

“By borrowing the tools of the manicurist’s trade, marine biologists have found a way of attaching satellite-tracking tags to turtle hatchlings. The tags will help uncover what turtles get up to in the critical few months after they leave the beach of their birth.” This is a really cool story about simple solutions arising out […]

The Deep Carbon Observatory: Going underground | The Economist

“Current estimates suggest that half of all the living matter on Earth lives underground, at depths of up to 5km. Some people think the share may be bigger than that. Indeed, there is loose talk of life having originated more than once in the distant past, and of there being entire shadow biospheres of organisms […]