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News From the Field

DNA Analysis Aids in Classifying Single-celled Algae

September 19, 2012

image of micro-algae called Symbiodinium For nearly 260 years--since Carl Linnaeus developed his system of naming plants and animals--researchers have classified species based on visual attributes like color, shape and size. However, in the past few decades, researchers have found that sequencing DNA can more accurately identify species. A group of single-celled algae--Symbiodinum--that live inside corals and are critical to their survival--are only now being separated into species using DNA analysis. Full Story

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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