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Old 07-27-2010, 07:20 AM
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Post Traveling microorganisms

Every day, millions of microorganisms reach Spain from the Sahara Desert and the Sahel region – by flying. Louis Pasteur demonstrated back in 1861 that germs can move through the air, but it was only recently discovered that bacteria, funguses and viruses can travel thousands of kilometers stuck onto dust particles. Satellite images show clouds that come close to the size of the Iberian Peninsula. For the first time, the international team on the Ecosensor project, funded by the BBVA Foundation, have analyzed these traveling microorganisms using molecular biology techniques. As well as identifying the species, they have found that they colonize high-mountain lakes in the Sierra Nevada and the Pyrenees, and that the phenomenon is escalating with climate change.


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