23 June 2024
Carbon Capture Sea Viruses: Nature's Hidden Potential

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Carbon capture sea viruses: Armed with a catalog of hundreds of thousands of DNA and RNA virus species in the world’s oceans, scientists are now zeroing in on the viruses most likely to combat climate change by helping trap carbon dioxide in seawater or, using similar techniques, different viruses that may prevent methane’s escape from thawing Arctic soil.

Understanding Carbon Capture Sea Viruses

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Published on: March 11, 2024 Description: Weird Discovery: New Ocean Super-Viruses That Capture Carbon Carbon, the lifeblood of our planet, pulses through every ...
Weird Discovery: New Ocean Super-Viruses That Capture Carbon

In recent years, scientists have been delving deep into the world’s oceans to explore the potential of carbon capture sea viruses in combating climate change by aiding in the capture of carbon dioxide in seawater. This groundbreaking research involves studying hundreds of thousands of DNA and RNA virus species to pinpoint those that could play a crucial role in trapping carbon dioxide and preventing the escape of methane from thawing Arctic soil. By combining genomic sequencing data with artificial intelligence analysis, researchers have identified ocean-based viruses that “steal” genes from other microbes or cells involved in carbon processing in the sea.

The Role of Carbon Capture Sea Viruses in Ocean Carbon Metabolism

Professor Matthew Sullivan, a leading expert in microbiology and director of the Center of Microbiome Science at The Ohio State University, expressed surprise at the high number of metabolic pathways identified in ocean viruses that are crucial for carbon metabolism. Through advanced computational techniques, researchers are now able to determine which viruses target key metabolic pathways, providing valuable insights into how these viruses can be leveraged to enhance carbon capture in the ocean.

Applications Beyond the Ocean: Engineering Microbiomes with Carbon Capture Sea Viruses

The implications of this research extend beyond ocean ecosystems, with potential applications in engineering microbiomes in various settings to address critical challenges. Sullivan’s lab is exploring the use of carbon capture sea viruses to manipulate marine microbes for converting carbon into organic forms that can aid in mitigating climate change. Furthermore, the lessons learned from oceanic studies are being applied to using viruses to engineer microbiomes in human settings for purposes such as aiding in spinal cord injury recovery, improving outcomes for infants born to mothers with HIV, and combating infections in burn wounds.


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, viruses 100 times larger than known human pathogens, have been found in the depths of the ocean. Scientists have been able to isolate and catalogue 1,000s of these viruses, and have found that they are most prevalent in the deepest parts of the ocean, where they are trapped in the cold, nutrient-rich water. The viruses are thought to be ancient, and may have evolved before the first land-based plants and animals. The findings suggest that the deep ocean may be a reservoir for a vast and largely unknown pool of viruses, which could have significant. 

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Carbon capture, Microbiome, Virus

Carbon capture and storage
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a process in which a relatively pure stream of carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial sources is separated, treated and transported to a long-term storage location.: 2221  For example, the burning of fossil fuels or biomass results in a stream of CO2 that could be captured...
Read more: Carbon capture and storage

A microbiome (from Ancient Greek μικρός (mikrós) 'small', and βίος (bíos) 'life') is the community of microorganisms that can usually be found living together in any given habitat. It was defined more precisely in 1988 by Whipps et al. as "a characteristic microbial community occupying a reasonably well-defined habitat which...
Read more: Microbiome

A virus is a submicroscopic infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism. Viruses infect all life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea. Viruses are found in almost every ecosystem on Earth and are the most numerous type of biological entity....
Read more: Virus

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