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A Stanford University-led team presents a collection of previously unappreciated small proteins found using a reference-free comparative genomic analysis involving nearly 1,800 microbial metagenome sequences generated from four human body sites in 263 healthy volunteers. Using the gene prediction tool MetaProdigal and other computational approaches, the researchers focused in on more than 4,500 conserved small protein families, including many not found in the past.

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