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The secrets of soil

How understanding the genetic make-up of soil can help us improve the planet's health

Soil is a much-misunderstood substance, often dismissed as 'dirt', something to be avoided. Yet the crops we eat, the animals we rely on, the very oxygen we breathe, all depend on the existence of the plant life that bursts from the soil every year. The University of Aberystwyth has created a portable DNA sequencing technique that can identify the make-up of soil. Extracting DNA from the soil can help analyse ecological patterns and microbial communities.

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6 minutes