Jill Banfield, a UC Berkeley professor and EESA faculty scientist, co-led a team to discover 351 different huge bacteria-eating phages. One of these is the largest bacteriophage known to date with a genome that at 735,000 pairs long, is nearly 15 times longer than the average phage.
According to UC Berkeley, university researchers and their collaborators found these huge phages by scouring a large database of DNA that they generated from nearly 30 different Earth environments, ranging from the guts of premature infants and pregnant women to a Tibetan hot spring, a South African bioreactor, hospital rooms, oceans, lakes and deep underground. Their paper appeared this month in Nature.
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