A new approach to studying bacteria bypasses the petri dish, but still allows researchers to get lots of sequencing information, reports Discover's 80beats blog. "Pairing a new algorithm with an earlier technique, scientists from the Venter Institute and their collaborators can now get all that information from a single cell," 80beats says. Roger Lasken and his colleagues report in Nature Biotechnology on "algorithm tailored for short-read data from single cells that improves assembly through the use of a progressively increasing coverage cutoff." The researchers used their approach to sequence a single bacterial cell from an ocean sample. 80beats says that this approach is "a perfect match for [organisms that cannot be cultured], and we can expect further papers from this group detailing what they find in everything from sea water to soil to human skin."
Our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this work here.