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Science:8000公里骑行见证微生物足迹

摘要 : 当导师告诉微生物生态学研究生Magdalena Nagler关于艺术家、自行车手Wolfgang Burtscher提出的从奥地利到老挝的8000公里旅行时,Nagler抓住了这个机会——它能将艺术和科学结合起来,并且可能提高公众对当时即将到来的国际土壤年(2015年)的意识。

 

当导师告诉微生物生态学研究生Magdalena Nagler关于艺术家、自行车手Wolfgang Burtscher提出的从奥地利到老挝的8000公里旅行时,Nagler抓住了这个机会——它能将艺术和科学结合起来,并且可能提高公众对当时即将到来的国际土壤年(2015年)的意识。

Burtscher愿意试着研究旅途上遇到的微生物群落,并且每天在他完成所谓的“旅行标记”后—— 一张带有位置信息和注解的轮胎痕迹的纸,他会装满3瓶泥土,并将其寄给因斯布鲁克大学的Nagler,从而为后者提供了分析来自广阔地理范围的诸多微生物样本的难得机会。

Nagler测序了每个样本中的DNA,了解有哪些真菌和被称为放线菌的土壤微生物出现。她还研究了每个地点的气候、土壤类型和其他状况,以分析出现的微生物和当地环境之间是否存在任何关联。正如一些微生物学家长期以来所认为的,Nagler发现,很多微生物无处不在。不过,每种类型在每个地点的数量大不相同。她的数据显示,和地理位置上接近的微生物群落相比,拥有类似土壤和气候的群落更有可能出现相似性。因此,环境因素比空间接近性更加重要。该团队在《应用土壤生态学》杂志上报告了这一发现。

除了证明科学和艺术能完美地混在一起,此项研究还证实了在微生物学家中流传的一个有着百年历史的理论:“微生物无处不在,但环境决定其群落结构。”也就是说,环境决定了哪种微生物在某个特定的地方繁盛。

此次旅行标记展览仍未最终确定,但这个艺术—科学项目已在两次会议上得以展示,并且成为使公众更加了解土壤微生物生命努力的一部分。对于Nagler来说,她正在寻找另一个将科学和艺术融合在一起的机会。

原文链接:

8000-kilometer cycling trip shows that some microbes ‘are everywher’

原文摘要:

When microbial ecology graduate student Magdalena Nagler’s adviser told her about artist-cyclist Wolfgang Burtscher’s proposed 8000 kilometer journey from Austria to Laos, she jumped at a chance to combine art with science and possibly promote public awareness of the upcoming International Year of Soils (2015). He was game to research the microbial communities he would encounter on his journey, and every day after he made what he called a “tripmark,” a tire tread imprint on a piece of paper with location information and notes (above), he filled three vials of dirt and sent them back to Nagler at the University of Innsbruck, providing her with a rare opportunity to examine many samples of microbes from a broad geographic range. She sequenced DNA in each sample to learn what fungi and soil bacteria—called actinobacteria—were present. She also looked up the climate, soil type, and other conditions at each site to see if there was any correlation between the microbes present and the local environment. She found—as some microbiologists have long thought—that many microbes are everywher. But the amount of each type at each site varies enormously, and her data showed that communities with similar soils and climates are more likely to be similar than microbial communities that are geographically close together. Thus, environmental factors take precedence over spatial proximity, the team reports in the March issue of Applied Soil Ecology. In addition to showing that science and art can mix nicely together, the work confirms a hundred-year-old theory among microbiologists: While the environment determines which microbes thrive in a given place, “everything is everywher.” Thetripmark exhibit is still being finalized, but already this art-science project has been on display at two conferences as part of an effort to make the public more aware of soil microbial life. As for Nagler, she’s on the lookout for another opportunity to meld art and science.

来源: Science 浏览次数:0

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