The global demand and consumption of agricultural crops is increasing at a rapid pace. According to the 2019 Global Agricultural Productivity Report, global yield needs to increase at an average annual rate of 1.73 percent to sustainably produce food, feed, fiber and bioenergy for 10 billion people in 2050. In the US, however, agricultural productivity is struggling to keep… Read more
Even as NAU associate professor Greg Caporaso and his team were putting the final touches on their QIIME 2™ paper, published earlier this year, he was already planning several major enhancements to this open source and free bioinformatics software that enables scientists to perform microbiome analysis from increasingly large amounts… Read more
Asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS)—sinus inflammation that lasts for at least three months—are serious and costly diseases, and both are on the rise. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, CRS affects up to 16 percent of the U.S. adult population and eats up a staggering 5 percent of the country’s healthcare budget each year. Asthma,… Read more
Over the last 20 years, rapid advances in DNA sequencing and bioinformatics technologies have significantly improved scientists’ understanding of the microbial world. Examples include increased knowledge about the vast diversity of microorganisms; how microbiota and microbiomes impact disease and medical treatment; how microorganisms impact the health of our planet; and the potential for… Read more
According to the National Institutes for Health, asthma is a chronic lung disease affecting more than 300 million people worldwide—25 million in the U.S. alone, including 7 million children. Because it inflames and narrows the airways, the disease significantly affects quality of life, causing recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing.
The incidence of asthma… Read more
Ecological research focuses on understanding how population-level dynamics—such as the growth rate of a particular population of microbes—contribute to ecosystem-level processes. Ecosystem scientists researching climate change often study the role of microbes in the carbon cycle, for example, so knowing how quickly they grow is a fundamental metric to reaching that understanding.
Until now, however, scientists have not had the ability to measure growth rates of individual microbial populations… Read more