Expedition Features

From May 1 - 14, 2022, scientists from the Florida Atlantic University Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute will conduct an expedition to explore coral and sponge habitats within Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) and nearby areas in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico in order to assess their potential for biopharmaceutical, or “natural,” products. View Expedition Overview

A Fish Out of Water Having the Time of Her Life

May 13, 2022

What is a cancer immunologist doing on a NOAA Ocean Exploration expedition? Well, if we are lucky, collecting organisms that may one day cure cancer.

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Why Are We Collecting DNA From the Seafloor?

May 12, 2022

One of the things we are doing on this expedition is preserving the DNA of each marine organism we collect. Our group is interested in finding marine natural products that can be used as medicines against many diseases.

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Cryopreservation and Culture of Sponge Cells for Production of Marine Natural Products

May 11, 2022

Some sponges produce chemicals (marine natural products) that can be developed to treat diseases. Unfortunately, a large quantity of the marine natural product is needed to develop it into a drug. One option to scale-up production of these chemicals is through cell culture.

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The Diversity of Sponges

May 9, 2022

Sponges are ancient animals that may appear simplistic, but the more we study them, the more we realize how complex they are. They are bizarre and beautiful – nothing like the yellow, plastic rectangle next to your kitchen sink.

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What is a "natural product"?

May 2, 2022

A "natural product" is a chemical compound or substance made by a living organism.

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