Undergrads, we’re recruiting!

Undergraduate students interested in a research project should express interest by emailing a CV and brief statement of interest to Matt Sullivan. We are currently seeking reliable undergraduates to assist in the following areas:

  • phage discovery for therapeutic purposes (E. coli and C. diff)
  • database and sample inventory

Ohio State study: Global teamwork on scientific research growing

“More than ever, scientists are going beyond seeking colleagues from down the hall and instead looking to partner with the best and brightest across time zones, languages and cultures. Global science is nothing new, but the pace and expanse of international research is reaching incredible levels, according to a new study from OSU.

“Curiosity knows no border. Talent knows no boundaries,” said Dr. John Barnard, president of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Science has always valued that. It’s core to our being.”

But as federal science funding dwindles and travel to and from the United States is becoming increasingly political and problematic, the international science community could rethink America’s role in that network, said Caroline Wagner, an OSU associate professor of public affairs who helped conduct the university’s recent research on the topic.

“What it hurts is future research,” she said. “The longer-term harm to science from that would be more corrosive.”

Her research analyzed multiple-author scientific papers with collaborators from more than one country between 1990 and 2015. The percentage of international studies grew from 10 percent to 25 percent.

The global focus also held true for Ohio, Wagner found, where an Akron scientist is more likely to have a co-author in Japan than one based in Dayton.

In 2013, Ohio produced more than 22,000 multinational papers. That year, Ohio researchers published just 400 studies that involved collaborations within the state.” Read full article from Columbus Dispatch

Bacterial Host Response is Key to Severity of Viral Infection

The Science

Bacteria have a major impact on natural ecosystems, human health, disease progression and industrial processes using bacterial cultures, but viruses that infect bacteria can The ϕ38:1 virus represents the fourth most abundant viral group in oceans.influence all of these systems. A recent study revealed how viruses that are common in the environment can efficiently infect some bacterial cells but not others.

The Impact

A better understanding of how host cells control viral infection could be invaluable for modeling virus-host interaction ecology, as well as for designing virus cocktails to fight pathogens.

Read more…

Viromics Training Workshop at OSU Helps Researchers Use Tools to Overcome Challenges in Viral Metagenomics

Researchers in the Sullivan lab recently hosted a 3-day viromics training workshop, with fellow scientists from nearly a dozen different institutions participating. The workshop focused on using the tools and resources available at iVirus (a CyVerse-supported project) and MetaVir to study and process viral metagenomic datasets. Participants were able to bring their own data and get hands-on feedback throughout the workshop.

Check out the summary article at CyVerse!

Ocean Carbon Flux Dissected With Genetics Techniques

Humans put about 7 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere each year. Of those 7 gigatons, the ocean takes up about 50 percent. But how the seas take up all this carbon, the ocean carbon flux, is not fully understood.

The role of phytoplankton, microscopic plants that drift in the ocean, is acknowledged to be significant in ocean carbon uptake but there are thousands of varieties of phytoplankton and all may not play the same role. In addition, bacteria and viruses have a role to play in ocean carbon fixation too, but sorting through the thousands, if not millions, of the ocean’s microbes and linking them to an ocean carbon sequestration function is daunting, to say the least.

Enter Matt Sullivan, assistant professor of microbiology and civil, environmental and geodetic engineering at Ohio State University. read more


Plankton Networks Driving Carbon Export in the Oligotrophic Ocean

Tara Oceans vessel

©S. Bollet

This new study establishes the important role of plankton networks in removing carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it deep in the ocean. And it opens up opportunities for caring for the ocean in ways that encourage it to absorb more carbon.

The latest in a series of studies, appears in the current issue of the journal Nature and includes work by Matthew Sullivan, an assistant professor of microbiology at The Ohio State University, and Jennifer Brum and Simon Roux, postdoctoral researchers in Sullivan’s lab.

See summary article in OSU News.

Global Scale Research Uncovers New Information About the Ways Marine Viruses and Microbes Interact

UA researchers in collaboration with Tara Oceans publish 5 papers in a special issue of Science.

·UA News, May 21, 2015

·Quanta Magazine, May 21, 2015

·The New York Times, May 21, 2015

·The Verge, May 21, 2015

·TIME, May 21, 2015

·NPR, Science Friday, May 22, 2015

·BBC News, May 22, 2015

·Nature Reviews Microbiology, June 08, 2015