Friday, 30 November 2018

The Earth Microbiome Project

The Earth Microbiome Project is a systematic attempt to characterize global microbial taxonomic and functional diversity for the benefit of the planet and humankind.

The Earth Microbiome Project (EMP) is a massively collaborative effort to characterize microbial life on this planet. We use DNA sequencing and mass spectrometry of crowd-sourced samples to understand patterns in microbial ecology across the biomes and habitats of our planet. The EMP is a comprehensive example of open science, leveraging a collaborative network of 500+ investigators, supporting pre-publication data sharing, and crowdsourcing data analysis to enable universal principles to be explored. The standardized collection, curation, and analysis are enabling a robust interpretation of ecological trends.

The Vision: Constructing the Microbial Map for Planet Earth

The EMP was founded in 2010 as a massive crowd-sourced effort to analyze microbial communities across the globe. The general premise was to examine microbial communities from their own perspective. Hence we proposed to characterize the Earth by environmental parameter space into different biomes and then explore these using samples drawn from researchers across the globe. We set out to analyze 200,000 samples from these communities using amplicon sequencing, metagenomics, and metabolomics to produce a global Gene Atlas describing protein space, environmental metabolic models for each biome, approximately 500,000 reconstructed microbial genomes, a global metabolic model, and a data-analysis portal for visualization of processed information.

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology

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