In April, the Department of Energy announced that it will give a $9 million (US) grant to a private, nonprofit institute in Maryland to decode the genome of every organism found in the Sargasso Sea, a body of water covering two million square miles in the North Atlantic. Covered by algae, encased by numerous currents that keep it relatively immobile, the Sargasso is essentially a sea unto itself.
It's a good thing that the DOE is awarding this project. As proteomics and systems biology nudge genomics out of the limelight, and, with the human genome project now complete, some huge project worthy of keeping all those genome sequencers humming had to be found.
Not that the DOE didn't have lots of contenders: Examiners pored over hundreds of other qualified and intriguing grant applications. The following just barely missed the cut:
Applicant: J. Herman Missermesser, PhD, and his cast of thousands...