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BioBlitz Bobcast: Hunting for Microbial DNA

By Bob Hirshon, Program Director in the Education Directorate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Until this year, identifying organisms at the BioBlitz was based purely on examining them– looking at their shape, size, color, number of legs, etc– and the species have been limited to multicelled creatures. For 2014, a group from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs have introduced the PhyloChip, which can test for the presence of 60,000 varieties of bacteria and Archaea, a large group of primitive single celled organisms.