Metcalf Instiute for Marine & Environmental Reporting
Published: January 1, 2013
C-DEBI Contribution Number: 189


C-DEBI’s second theme, or avenue of investigation, is Extent of Life: Biomes and the Degree of Connectivity. Given the fundamental role of microbes in life as we know it, one might expect scientists to have some idea of where different types of microbes are found and maybe even why they’re there. Yet specialists in the field of microbiology struggle to understand why, in some cases, nearly identical organisms live a world apart. How can identical bacteria exist thousands of miles away from each other, even when we know the width of a human hair is enough to divide entire microbial populations?