Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Classrooms Worldwide Invited to 'Dive In' to Deep-sea Expedition

14.10.2008
University of Delaware researchers will lead an international team to explore deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean next month, and middle- and high-school classrooms worldwide are invited to “dive in” with them.

Registration is now open for classrooms around the globe to participate in “Extreme 2008: A Deep-Sea Adventure,” an exciting virtual field trip to the ocean's depths presented by UD with support from the National Science Foundation. Classroom registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until Friday, Oct. 31, at [www.expeditions.udel.edu/].

From Nov. 10-30, scientists and graduate students from UD, the University of Colorado, University of North Carolina, University of Southern California, J. Craig Venter Institute, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and the University of Waikato, New Zealand, will travel to underwater geysers in the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortés) to learn more about the microscopic organisms that thrive in these extreme environments of scalding heat, high pressure, toxic chemicals and total darkness.

The scientists' focus will be marine viruses and other tiny life called protists. These organisms prey on bacteria, the primary food for vent dwellers ranging from ghost-white vent crabs to bizarre-looking tubeworms.

“For many years, the vents have been explored with little to no attention to viruses and protists,” says Craig Cary, professor of marine biosciences in the UD College of Marine and Earth Studies. “Yet because these organisms eat bacteria, they have the most dramatic effect on the bacterial communities that support the vent system. Our research programs are among the first to focus on these remarkable scavengers.”

Cary, who is a veteran of more than 20 deep-sea research cruises, is the chief scientist on the expedition, which will set sail aboard the 274-foot research vessel Atlantis and periodically dive nearly 2 miles to the ocean floor in the submersible Alvin. Both vessels are owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Eric Wommack, an associate professor with joint appointments in both the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the College of Marine and Earth Studies, will join Cary in leading the UD contingent. Wommack, who is based at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, is an expert on marine viruses and will be deploying specialized equipment to capture them for analysis in the shipboard lab.

“As a group, viruses are the most abundant biological entities on Earth and contain its largest reservoir of unknown genes,” Wommack notes. “We know that bacteria at the deep-sea hydrothermal vents are intimately associated with relatively abundant populations of viruses. Our goal is to explore the wilderness of viral genes existing at the vents.”

David Caron, professor of biological sciences at the University of Southern California, will lead a research team that will be examining single-celled organisms called protists. Caron is an expert in the ecology of these species, which include the microalgae and protozoa, and will be conducting ground-breaking work to understand the species diversity and activities of these creatures at the vents.

“Protists are important consumers of bacteria and other microorganisms in all other aquatic environments,” Caron said. “We believe that they serve as an essential link in the bacterial-based food webs of hydrothermal vents, but surprisingly little work has been performed in deep-sea ecosystems to document and understand the activities of these species.”

As the scientists work at sea, they will be connected to students via an interactive Web site, where blogs, dive logs, video clips, photos and interviews will be posted daily. Students also will be able to write to the scientists, design experiments and participate in a virtual science fair.

A capstone experience for selected schools will be a “Phone Call to the Deep,” linking classrooms with researchers working live in the submersible Alvin on the seafloor.

Teachers need to register their classrooms now for the popular educational program in order to receive the free curricula, study guides, and other educational activities designed to boost students' understanding of the ocean and the process of scientific discovery.

The program, coordinated by the Office of Communications & Marketing, is the sixth in UD's popular “Extreme” series, which has won state and national awards for public education.

Tracey Bryant | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.udel.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>