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The Tip of the Phage Biology Iceberg

Phages, or bacteria-infecting viruses, are Earth’s most abundant biological entities, according to a team of three post-docs — Mirjam Zuend, Sage Dunham and Jason Rothman — in Katrine Whiteson’s lab from the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and the UCI Microbiome Center, yet there is still so much the scientific community has to learn about them.

In their paper, What lies beneath? Taking the plunge into the murky waters of phage biology, which was recently published in mSystems, the team speaks on the important role phages play in all ecosystems and makes a call for the scientific community to use new strategies to better investigate phages. In addition, the paper discusses experimental approaches to expand our understanding of phage biology and extolls the incredible potential of the field as a whole.

“We are at an exciting time in phage biology and hope to inspire researchers to develop novel computational tools and methods that address these fascinating and complex members of biological communities,” said Professor Whiteson in the paper. “We truly are at the tip of the iceberg and invite everyone to dive into the viral unknown.”

In addition to the paper in mSystems, Professor Whiteson and colleagues have recently been published in other journals, including mBio, Water Research, and npj Biofilms and Microbiomes.

To learn more about Professor Whiteson’s research, visit the Whiteson lab website.

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