Shining light on landfills to uncover 'dark life'

Researchers increasingly turn to computational genomics to assist in bioremediation, a process that uses naturally occurring organisms to help turn hazardous wastes into less toxic or non-toxic materials. Assistant Professor Laura Hug at the University of Waterloo in Canada explains how municipal landfills are mined for new types of bacteria -- called "dark life" -- because many such organisms were not previously known to exist. Scientists extract DNA from such microbes and sequence it using supercomputers such as San Diego Supercomputer Center's petascale Comet system.

Provided by San Diego Supercomputer Center

Runtime: 3:45

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