Mobile genetic elements (MGEs) are genetic entities that seek to replicate themselves and spread from cell to cell. Two of the most common forms of MGEs are viruses and plasmids. They can be found in virtually all of Earth’s ecosystems. A software tool recently described in Nature Biotechnology called geNomad identifies and classifies MGEs based upon their gene content and their genetic sequences. The software was created by researchers under the direction of Nikos Kyrpides, Microbiome Data Science Group Lead at the DOE Joint Genome Institute. Learn more on the JGI website. The JGI’s Antonio Camargo, Simon Roux and Frederik Schulz are also among the authors.