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The Final Plymouth Sample

On Thursday, May 28th the Sorcerer II crew, accompanied by Dr. Jack Gilbert and two of his PhD students, headed out for one final sampling trip. The destination was E-1, a long term research station for PML located about 25 miles off the coast of Plymouth in the English Channel. As we...

First Sampling in Plymouth Reveals Interesting Blooms — BBC Cameras capture it all!

After a couple of days in Plymouth we were ready for the first of two intense sampling days together with the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML). We had heard rumours about blooms of Phaeocystis, a conspicuous bloom-former in the North Sea and English Channel. When it blooms, it turns the...

Days of Discovery: Plymouth, Sea Urchin Cell Division and More Plankton

After a few days of fairly rough weather and winds up to 50 knots we finally spotted land and made our way to Plymouth. With our social interactions having been restricted to a pod of pilot whales and a few tankers passing through the night, we were excited to see a welcoming committee,...

England, Here We Come!

In calm and clear conditions on May 11 Sorcerer II set sail for Plymouth, England.  We enjoyed our brief stay in the Azores, but we were all excited to get to the U.K. and complete our North Atlantic crossing.  As I mentioned in previous entries, we took samples near areas studied by...

Land Horta! The Sorcerer II on Faial Island, the Azores

We sailed into Horta on the island of Failal Saturday, May 9th around 1pm.  The Sorcerer II crew was excited to visit the island but then again, we were just happy to walk on land and sleep in a bed that was not rolling from side to side! As usual when we arrive in a new port, we cleared...

North Atlantic Transit

After four days in Bermuda reconnecting with colleagues at BIOS and preparing for sampling across the North Atlantic, Sorcerer II departed on April 29th enroute to the port of Horta located on the island of Faial in the Azores.  There are nine islands in the Azores archipelago which is...

Bermuda: Back to Where We Started

Sorcerer II arrived in Bermuda around 7 p.m. on Saturday April 25th after a five day, 1,000 mile sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During the crossing, the crew experienced some challenging weather to say the least.  Two samples were collected, and the CTD data confirmed what the J....

The Search for Environmental “Gems” Continues

As an original crew member of the Sorcerer II circumnavigation that began in 2003, I had not been sailing/sampling on the boat since September 2007. I arrived in Florida with a mixture of emotions. Although life on board can be tedious, I was excited to return and embark on this next leg of...

Back on Land

We arrive in Ft. Lauderdale and are all glad to be back on land for a few days. But we were also elated by the success of the first part of the expedition. This first journey was difficult because we had to deploy and test new equipment, to sample a diverse array of environments and...

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24-Oct-2023
Noema

Planet Microbe

There are more organisms in the sea, a vital producer of oxygen on Earth, than planets and stars in the universe.

29-Aug-2023
Vanity Fair

The Next Climate Change Calamity?: We’re Ruining the Microbiome, According to Human-Genome-Pioneer Craig Venter

In a new book (coauthored with Venter), a Vanity Fair contributor presents the oceanic evidence that human activity is altering the fabric of life on a microscopic scale.

21-Aug-2023
GEN

Lessons from the Minimal Cell

“Despite reducing the sequence space of possible trajectories, we conclude that streamlining does not constrain fitness evolution and diversification of populations over time. Genome minimization may even create opportunities for evolutionary exploitation of essential genes, which are commonly observed to evolve more slowly.”

09-Aug-2023
Quanta Magazine

Even Synthetic Life Forms With a Tiny Genome Can Evolve

By watching “minimal” cells regain the fitness they lost, researchers are testing whether a genome can be too simple to evolve.

15-May-2023
Science

Privacy concerns sparked by human DNA accidentally collected in studies of other species

Two research teams warn that human genomic “bycatch” can reveal private information

10-May-2023
New York Times

Scientists Unveil a More Diverse Human Genome

The “pangenome,” which collated genetic sequences from 47 people of diverse ethnic backgrounds, could greatly expand the reach of personalized medicine.

10-May-2023
Nature

First human ‘pangenome’ aims to catalogue genetic diversity

Researchers release draft results from an ongoing effort to capture the entirety of human genetic variation.

15-Mar-2023
Scientific American

Scientists Create the Smallest-Ever Moving Cell

Just two genes get tiny synthetic cells moving, offering clues to life’s evolution.

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