The open ocean is teeming with microbial small RNAs that regulate a multitude of environmental processes ranging from carbon metabolism to nutrient acquisition, according to a linkurl:paper;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v459/n7244/abs/nature08055.html published in tomorrow's (May 14) issue of __Nature__.
"What makes this study quite exciting is the access to novel and previously unidentified small RNAs," linkurl:Jack Gilbert,;http://www.genomics.ceh.ac.uk/mm/Staff.php a molecular ecologist at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory who was not involved in the study, told __The Scientist__. "Now we can look at the transcripts and regulation of whole suites of pathways in a whole community." In 2007, researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute sailed around the world aboard the __Sorcerer II__ yacht and used metagenomic shotgun sequencing approaches to identify linkurl:millions of previously unknown protein-coding genes.;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/52937/ Then last year, Gilbert and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's linkurl:Edward DeLong;http://web.mit.edu/be/people/delong.htm each independently...
to collect water column samples
Image: SOEST/University of Hawaii
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