Modeling The Earth's Microbiome, A Real World Deliverable for Microbial Ecology

TitleModeling The Earth's Microbiome, A Real World Deliverable for Microbial Ecology
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsGilbert, JA, Meyer, F
JournalMicrobe Magazine
Date Published09/2011
Other NumbersANL/MCS-P1944-0911
Abstract

Microbiology is awesome, awe inspiring and seemingly unfathomably complex. Globally, microbial cells are estimated to be a billion times more abundant than stars in the known universe. When one considers the complexity of the n-dimensional hyper volume of niche space in which microbial life finds itself, multiplied by the immensity of time (~3.8 billion years), it is hardly surprising. Yet, it is a daunting task to try and understand this complexity in a way that could be useful to humanity. Useful because, cataloging this vastness, while essential, does not immediately provide useful products. These surveys are fundamental, but they are natural history, a cataloging of events linked to a limited number of contextual variables, e.g. location and time. A useful product is one that we can use; the form of that interaction, or what you want the tool to do should define how we design these surveys, so that specific questions can lead to specific products that can help to refine the specific questions. This is to paraphrase the scientific method.

URLhttp://www.microbemagazine.org/index.php/02-2012-home/4399-modeling-the-earth-microbiome
PDFhttp://www.mcs.anl.gov/papers/P1944-0911.pdf