Exploring Viruses for Enhanced Carbon Capture in the Sea

Exploring Viruses for Enhanced Carbon Capture in the Sea

Scientists are harnessing the power of ocean-based viruses to combat climate change, utilizing genomic sequencing data and artificial intelligence analysis to identify key players in carbon processing. Researchers have discovered that viruses in the ocean have the ability to “steal” genes from other microbes to process carbon, with 128 metabolic pathways identified in these ocean viruses.

By understanding which viruses target important metabolic pathways, scientists hope to engineer the ocean microbiome to better capture carbon. Virus-infected carbon-processing cells can cluster into larger aggregates that sink to the ocean floor, effectively trapping carbon and mitigating its impact on the environment.

The team of researchers is also exploring the potential use of viruses to engineer microbiomes in human settings, such as aiding recovery from spinal cord injuries and combatting infections in burn wounds. Additionally, efforts are underway to use phages as geoengineering tools in the permafrost in northern Sweden to address climate change on land.

Presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, this research highlights the crucial role that viruses play in managing microbiomes and combating climate change. By unlocking the potential of ocean viruses, scientists may have found a powerful tool in the fight against climate change. Stay tuned to Insider Wales Sport for more updates on this groundbreaking research.

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

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