November 20, 2012

Maine research center to probe deep-sea microbes

A consortium of scientists will study the DNA of microbes that have lived in isolation for millions of years.

The Associated Press

EAST BOOTHBAY — Bigelow Laboratory's Single Cell Genomics Center in Maine has extracted and amplified DNA from microbial cells that appear to thrive miles deep in the ocean, which until recently was thought to be devoid of life.

A consortium of scientists, led by a researcher from the East Boothbay lab, has received a major award of services from the U.S. Energy Department to perform single-cell whole genome sequencing of over 300 deep-water microbes that have lived in isolation for millions of years.

The project is a multi-year collaboration between scientists at Bigelow Laboratory, Princeton University, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Desert Research Institute, Technical Research Center of Finland, University of Delaware and Western Washington University.

Bigelow researcher Ramunas Stepanauskas says the project takes advantage of cutting-edge research tools.

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