Microbes are single-cell organisms that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Yet while relatively inconspicuous, they are the dominant life form on our planet.

Microbes shape how everything in this world survives,” said Jack Gilbert, faculty director at the University of Chicago’s Microbiome Center and group leader for microbial ecology at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory. ​If you don’t understand them, you won’t understand anything.”

With funding support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and hosted by the University of Chicago, 22 leading researchers in the fields of soil science, microbiology, computational biology, sensors and nanotechnology recently gathered at the two-day Microbiome Soil Sensors Workshop in August to create a roadmap for measuring microbial activity in the soil.

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