VERVENet capabilities to go viral

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Marine Microbiology Initiative is investing eight million dollars over the next two years to support scientists, globally and at all career stages, to accelerate development of experimental model systems in marine microbial ecology. The researchers have been encouraged to use to release novel protocols for studying marine microbes. The team has been collaborating with Bonnie Hurwitz of the University of Arizona (UA)’s BIO5 Institute on VERVE Net, the Viral Ecology Research and Virtual Exchange Network created by Hurwitz to enable protocol sharing within the viral ecologist community. In addition, Hurwitz is the creator of the iMicrobe project that provides data and Apps for microbial research. Both iMicrobe and VERVE Net are funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Data for iMicrobe is hosted by the iPlant Collaborative, a data management platform for the life sciences headquarted at the UA. The international endeavor taps into the efforts of more than 100 scientists across 33 institutions with a broad range of expertise to collectively tackle the challenge of developing methods to bring experimental model systems to the ocean. The genetic tools generated in this effort will allow researchers to more easily disrupt the activities of microbial genes to understand how these organisms function in marine ecosystems and provide the capability to ask scientific questions in ways not currently possible.