Posted: April 18, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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The moviemaker’s expedition to the Mariana Trench could usher in a new type of undersea lab that extracts chemical compounds from microorganisms living in the deepest parts of the seaBlockbuster-moviemaker-turned-aquanaut James Cameron’s solo dive in the Pacific to the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep site last month opens up a vast, under-explored region of the world’s oceans to researchers. There, scientists hope to discover, retrieve and study a host of previously unknown organisms and chemical compounds that may someday help solve decades-old medical mysteries. “What better place to look for adaptations and unusual compounds that have unusual characteristics than in the most extreme environments we can go to on this planet,” says Richard Lutz, a professor of marine ecology and biology of deep-sea hydrothermal vents at Rutgers University and director of the school’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. (via Fathomable Pharmaceuticals: Will Cameron’s Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Yield Breakthrough Drugs?: Scientific American)

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