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Factoid/2020/05/28

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A new virus targets carbon-fixing ocean bacteria

"Beneath the ocean’s surface, a virus is hijacking the metabolism of the most abundant organism on Earth... P. marinus is a photosynthetic cyanobacteria that resides primarily in the tropics and subtropics, where an estimated 10-to-the-27 (an octillion) of them use sunlight to produce oxygen and collectively store four gigatons of carbon annually... “The growth in the range of this organism in the oceans could increase the total carbon stored by these microbes... Alternatively, the viruses that infect these bacteria could alter carbon fixation and potentially prevent gigatons of carbon from being taken out of the air annually, according to one recent projection." - Excerpt from Rice University

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