• Biotechnology: the identification and exploitation of the remarkably versatile and diverse biosynthetic capacities of microbial communities to generate beneficial industrial, food, and health products.

  • Agriculture: the development of more effective and comprehensive methods for early detection of threats to food production (crop and animal diseases) and food safety (monitoring and early detection of dangerous microbial contaminants) and the development of management practices that maximize the beneficial attributes of microbial communities in and around domestic plants and animals.

  • Biodefense and Microbial Forensics: the development of more effective vaccines and therapeutics against potential bioterror agents, the deployment of genomic biosensors to monitor microbial ecosystems for known and potential pathogens, and the ability to precisely identify and characterize microbes that have played a role in war, terrorism, and crime events, thus contributing to discovering the source of the microbes and the party responsible for their use.

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