Scientists all over the world cooperate to characterize as many bacterial ecosystems as possible in "The Earth Microbiome Project"
Massive global research collaboration known as the Earth Microbiome Project catalogues planet’s microbial diversity at unprecedented scale
“In the Earth Microbiome Project (EMP), an extensive global team co-led by researchers at University of California San Diego, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory collected more than 27,000 samples from numerous, diverse environments around the globe. They analyzed the unique collections of microbes — the microbiomes — living in each sample to generate the first reference database of bacteria colonizing the planet. Thanks to newly standardized protocols, original analytical methods and open data-sharing, the project will continue to grow and improve as new data are added.” Click here to read the full article.
The Earth Microbiome Project (EMP) was founded by Prof. Rob Knight (UCSD) together with Prof. Jack Gilbert (ANL and University of Chicago), Prof. Rick Stevens (University of Chicago) and Janet Jansson (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) in 2010. Over 160 institutions with more than 500 researchers worldwide are working on the EMP. The goal is the creation of comparable data which is very hard with this overwhelming mass of data. Collaborative science allows for standardized methods which are used by all contributing scientists.
If you look at the website of the EMP you can localize the samples taken worldwide, each connected with its most similar other sample in the EMP.