Essays on Science and SocietyEcology and Environment

Probing the metabolism of microorganisms

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Science  08 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6368, pp. 1264-1265
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar2000

Summary

Microorganisms are the most ancient, the most abundant, and the most diverse life form on Earth. Over billions of years, their metabolic activity, coupled with geophysical processes, has been shaping Earth's surface chemistry (1). Today, microorganisms catalyze the bulk of biochemical fluxes in virtually every ecosystem, including the ocean, soil, and the human gut.