Abstract

The past two decades have witnessed an explosion of DNA sequencing technologies that provide unprecedented insights into genome sequences—the blueprints of life on Earth. Although initially driven by biomedical research, this revolution offers exciting opportunities in Earth sciences. Analyzing genomes and other biomolecules (“omic” methods) within environmental samples provides new vistas of microbial geochemistry. However, the massive amount of data produced can be hard to decipher, and the resources and infrastructure to train and support geoscientists in omics approaches are lacking. This article summarizes some of the opportunities and challenges in the applications of omic approaches to geochemical problems.

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