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Oceans contain much more bacteria than scientists assumed

Posted on Tuesday, August 01 2006 @ 01:32:26 CEST by

Scientists discovered sea water contains 10 to 100 times more types of bacteria than anyone imaged.
Using a new genetic mapping technique, U.S., Dutch and Spanish scientists said they found more than 20,000 different types of microbe in a single liter (1.8 pint) of water from deep sites in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

"These observations blow away all previous estimates of bacterial diversity in the ocean," said lead author Mitchell Sogin of the Marine Biological Laboratory at Wood's Hole, Massachusetts.

He said past studies had suggested that one liter of water would contain 1,000 to 3,000 types of microbe -- the oldest form of life on the planet. Microbes make up more than 90 percent of the total mass of life in the seas, from bacteria to whales.
Learn more at Reuters. Just by swimming in the ocean and swalloing a mouthful of sea water you probably consume more than 1,000 types of bacteria. A pleasant thought.



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