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Surveying bacteria in the atmosphere

An article by Vanessa Schipani in The Scientist (1 December 2010) points to research indicating that the atmosphere may harbor a microbial diversity comparable to soils, but is vastly less studied. Plans are underway to survey the atmosphere in all states and in various habitats: urban, agricultural, etc. It is possible that bacteria are not just riding on the winds from place to place, but are actually living in the atmosphere, which may provide them with suitable temperatures and nutrients to support them for generations.
 
 

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