Plaque–evidence for Design!

Every now and then, I check in over at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) to see what new projects they’re up to, as well as to see if they’ve released a particular genome sequence I’m waiting on. Yesterday I noticed this project:

Innovative Metagenomics Strategy Used To Study Oral Microbes

Rockville, MD – The mouth is awash in microbes, but scientists so far have merely scratched the surface in identifying and studying the hundreds of bacteria that live in biofilm communities that stick to the teeth and gums.

In an innovative new project that could help improve the detection and treatment of oral diseases, scientists are now using a metagenomics strategy to analyze the complex and difficult-to-study community of microbes in the oral cavity.

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In recent years, molecular methods have indicated that there are well over 400 species of bacteria in the oral cavity. But, so far, only about 150 of those species have been cultured in laboratories and given scientific names. Using a metagenomics sequencing strategy, TIGR scientists will be able to identify bits and pieces of the DNA of many of those oral microbes that so far have not been grown in labs and studied.

Now, I know that there are an insane amount of microbes in the mouth, but 400 species Holy cow.
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