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Planet Earth

All Things E. coli

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerMay 31, 2008 12:24 AM


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E. coli is, arguably, the one species that scientists know best. If you type the name "Escherichia coli" into PubMed, the database of the National Library of Medicine, you'll get over a quarter of a million titles of scientific papers. Scientists have sequenced about 30 genomes of different strains of E. coli. It's the microbe of choice for those who want to figure out how to tinker with life. There's one problem with all this attention--how are scientists supposed to make sense of all this data? Scientists have created sites to aggregate E. coli data in one place. The newest and broadest site is now up: E. coli Hub. To put the site in historical context, the scientists who set it up asked me to write an essay. It's now online here.

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