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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2007 Jun;18(3):287-92. Epub 2007 May 16.

Integrating ecology into biotechnology.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1415 Engineering Drive, Madison, WI, USA.


New high-throughput culture-independent molecular tools are allowing the scientific community to characterize and understand the microbial communities underpinning environmental biotechnology processes in unprecedented ways. By creatively leveraging these new data sources, microbial ecology has the potential to transition from a purely descriptive to a predictive framework, in which ecological principles are integrated and exploited to engineer systems that are biologically optimized for the desired goal. But to achieve this goal, ecology, engineering and microbiology curricula need to be changed from the very root to better promote interdisciplinarity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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