From the Methuselah Foundation: researcher John Schloendorn "requested soil donations throughout 2006, in order to discover microbes that degrade 'junk' molecules inside our bodies - the LysoSENS project, aimed at repairing one type of age-related damage via bioremediation. Further encouragement for the donors was provided by a soil contest - $100 for what the investigators deem the "best" submitted samples, i.e. the ones that contained the most biodiversity, and were the most difficult to collect. We were amazed at the level of creativity and organizational talent that our soil donors threw at this problem. We are proud to announce the winners of the contest and their stories. ... Michael obtained the cooperation of several Kentucky funeral directors. This resulted in a large selection of deep grave samples from different graveyards. We used these to construct our first large (>3 Gbp) metagenomic clone library, which has not yet undergone selection. This experiment will hopefully provide an answer to the question of whether graveyard soil is the preferred sample source, as a microbial habitat where our target compounds naturally get degraded. Mike would like to acknowledge the funeral directors Mr. Bernard, Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Hamm."