How "Viral Dark Matter" May Help Mitigate Climate Change
Matthew Sullivan, Professor at The Ohio State University Department of Microbiology and Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering and a Principal Investigator at the Byrd Center is lead author of the study recently published in the online journal Science titled Diversity and ecological footprint of Global Ocean RNA viruses. Ahmed Zayed, a research scientist in Microbiology at Ohio State was co-first author of this study along with Guillermo Dominguez-Huerta, a former postdoctoral researcher in Sullivan’s lab. Dr. Sullivan and his team have catalogued thousands of DNA virus species in the oceans over the years. Their most recent study, co-authored by researchers from around the globe, focuses on the RNA virus community and their influence on the ecosystems and their hosts' metabolisms, including photosynthesis and carbon cycling. Engineering these viruses on a massive scale could affect how carbon is stored in the ocean.