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Going Green to Blue

As we round the southern most point on our trip we notice that the water has gone from blue to green, and that there appear to be surface current and eddies in the water. We decide to stop and have a look with the CTD. As we lower the instrument from the aft cockpit, we encounter a layer of...

Costa Rican Dome

In Nicaraguan waters is a regular spring upwelling event sometimes referred to as the Costa Rican dome. Winds blow across the Central American Isthmus near Lake Nicaragua and contribute to an upwelling of nutrient rich waters. These nutrients enable phytoplankton to grow, and as we approach the...

Gulf of Tehuantepec

We spend the day transiting the famously capricious Gulf of Tehuantepec, but today winds were calm, and we were able to cut across the bay in good time. At the southern end of the gulf is an underwater seamount, so we maneuver the Sorcerer over the seamount in hopes of encountering an...

Acapulco Harbor, Mexico

There probably isn’t a harbor in Mexico more impacted by tourism and development than Acapulco. We pull into the stunningly beautiful harbor and sample in front of an area of high rise hotels. The depth of the spot we sampled is only 40 feet, so we just take a surface water sample. Of...

Sampling Blooms in Cabo Corrientes

Just south of Puerto Vallarta is Cabo Corrientes, and our satellite data indicate a large bloom extending 25 miles off the coast. As we enter the bloom the water turns an intense green, and there are numerous fish feeding in the area. Sampling conditions are ideal: bright sunshine, light...

Puerto Vallarta: Investigating the Influence of Coastal Development

Sampling today starts before sunrise when we arrive at Puerto Vallarta. In conjunction with our Mexican collaborators, we are investigating the influence of coastal development, particularly intensive tourism, on marine microbiota, so we take a sample of surface water in Banderas Bay and leave...

Strong Winds

Winds have picked up considerably in the last 36 hours, and tonight they are blowing in the 25 to 30 knot range, below gale force but still too strong to safely deploy our instrumentation. We sail past the plankton bloom near Cedros Island without stopping, but you can see the sparkle of the...

Blooms and Clear Skies

We left under clear skies and light winds, and within hours of heading out, we were sampling the waters off of the Coronado Islands near the US/Mexican border and plotting our sampling schedule for the next few days. The team passed around the latest satellite data from SeaWiFS, NASA’s global...

J. Robert Beyster and Life Technologies 2009-2010 Research Voyage Launch

After two years of intensive sampling in the waters off California and the west coast of the United States, the Sorcerer II Expedition embarked once again on March 21, 2009. Our destination: the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Seas. Funded by generous donations from the Beyster Family...

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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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