Metagenomic Resources from The National Academy of Science

Father’s Day I’m not sure how parents & metagenomics have gotten connected for me, but it seems they have.  You may remember my Mother’s Day post.  This past weekend my in-laws were visiting us for Father’s Day and a lot of the discussion involved recounting news stories about the tomato-associated salmonella outbreaks & quizzing the family biologist (me) on the subject.  Monday morning I wished our house guests a safe journey home & then checked my OpenHelix email account – to find an email from Mary telling me she had just gotten a metagenomics poster in her new issue of Nature Biotechnology.  (We always try to ‘share the wealth’ with each other, and you guys too, actually.)  The poster came with a web address, which I of course checked out.  Turns out …

NAS Metagenomics Process… it is actually a pretty cool site, with some nice information on the current state of metagenomics today. I found two posters to download or request – the one Mary mentioned, which is largely directed at scientists, and another that is aimed more the general public. I roamed around the site a bit and found lots of interesting information in the form of web pages and brochures & reports. I found their “The New Science of Metagenomics – Report-in-Brief” report especially useful as a good primer on metagenomics for non-biologists – I printed it out & am going to send it to my mom, who liked my Mother’s Day post but wanted an explanation of metagenomes. OK, but HOW does this get connected back to my Father’s Day discussions? Part of the report details how important microbial communities are in the health and productivity of crops – the connection continues! Let’s see what comes up for Grandparent’s Day, shall we? (unless there are other Hallmark ‘parent’ holidays I’m forgetting…)