Scientists conduct DNA tests at sea

Apr 25, 2006

Scientists have, for the first time, used DNA sequencing at sea in the Atlantic Ocean to identify a previously unknown life form.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship left Charleston, S.C., April 10 to study deep sea marine life in the Atlantic Ocean's Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

The international team has collected about 300 species so far, chief scientist Peter Wiebe of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said during a Monday telephone conversation with the Charleston Post and Courier.

Previously, marine life specimens had to be returned to land-based laboratories for DNA analysis. But the DNA testing must occur quickly, since the sea creatures are accustomed to the cool conditions of deep ocean waters, Martin Angel of the National Oceanography Center of England told the newspaper. He is also on the ship.

The scientists say they expect to discover about 7,000 new species to be identified through DNA testing by 2010. They are using special nets to capture specimens more than three miles below the ocean's surface.

Wiebe told the Post and Courier he expects ocean research stations to begin routinely conducting DNA analyses now it's been proven it can be done.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Tax benefits for housing not as outsized as previously thought, study says

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Exploring Mars in low Earth orbit

Jul 31, 2014

In their quest to understand life's potential beyond Earth, astrobiologists study how organisms might survive in numerous environments, from the surface of Mars to the ice-covered oceans of Jupiter's moon, ...

Danish DNA could be key to happiness

Jul 17, 2014

(Phys.org) —Economists at the University's Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) have looked at why certain countries top the world happiness rankings. In particular they have found the closer a ...

Uncovering secrets of the oceans' "engines"

Jun 30, 2014

They're small, but boy are they mighty. The microbes (or microorganisms) living in our oceans are actually too small to see with the naked eye, but they pack a punch when it comes to their portfolio. Not ...

Recommended for you

Jurassic Welsh mammals were picky eaters, study finds

13 hours ago

For most people, mere mention of the word Jurassic conjures up images of huge dinosaurs chomping their way through lush vegetation – and each other. However, mammals and their immediate ancestors were also ...

The changing landscape of religion

16 hours ago

Religion is a key factor in demography, important for projections of future population growth as well as for other social indicators. A new journal, Yearbook of International Religious Demography, is the first to bring a quan ...

User comments : 0