We are organizing a symposium within 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which will take placein the City of Vancouver, Canada in February 2012. Our symposium will be part of a special, day-long seminar “Unlocking Biology’s Potential and will verse on the exploration of uncultured microbial diversity, its challenges and benefits.
The symposium is organized by Claudio Slamovits and Patrick Keeling and sponsored by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. The speakers will be Alexandra Worden, Forest Rohwer and Patrick Keeling. A summary of the theme and links to more information follows below:
Seeing Biosphere’s Dark Matter: Genomic Methods on Unculturable Microbial Diversity
A decline in biodiversity poses dramatic consequences to almost every aspect of human development, either directly or indirectly, from food supply to global health, from climate change to the economy. Our ability to respond to these threats depends on efficient and thorough exploration, classification, and interpretation of biodiversity. Some components of the biosphere are visible to the eye, such as plants and animals, and have obvious importance. But microorganisms, the invisible majority of living forms on planet Earth, play critical roles in regulating global-scale processes and driving essential nutrient cycles that support all life forms. This session will illustrate the challenges of exploring microbial diversity in natural habitats such as the open oceans, deep into the ground, or inside our own bodies.