Ocean Microbes Shed Bizarre DNA-Carrying Blobs, Study Finds

January 9, 2014 7:22 PM

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Ocean Microbes Shed Bizarre DNA-Carrying Blobs, Study Finds

Tiny marine organisms that are thought to play a crucial role in the planet's carbon and nutrient cycles are mysteriously shedding massive amounts of bacterial "buds," loaded with proteins and genetic information, into the world's oceans, according to a new study.

These so-called vesicles are spherical pouches containing DNA, carbon and nutrients that are being continually produced and released by Prochlorococcus, the most abundant type of cyanobacteria, which are miniscule photosynthesizing cells in the ocean that convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into oxy...

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