An Ocean of Life: Bigelow Laboratory Café Sci July 23

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 7:30am

The Human Genome Project forever changed the field of biology when it published the first genetic blueprint of a human being in 2000. Today, scientists have expanded upon those methods and are working to map the genomic blueprints of the millions of marine microorganisms that underpin the health of our planet.

On July 23 at 5 p.m., Ramunas Stepanauskas will present “An Ocean of Life: One Drop of Seawater, One Million Organisms” as part of the free Café Sci series at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay.

“Every drop of seawater contains a microbial community that can rival the Amazon rainforest in its complexity,” said Stepanauskas, a senior research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory and director of its Single Cell Genomics Center. “We are just starting to unveil the full extent of this diversity, the implications it has for the stewardship of the planet, and its potential for practical applications."

Using novel molecular techniques developed at Bigelow Laboratory, researchers have built the largest library of single-cell microbe genomes to date. This process has unveiled new life strategies and novel sources of important compounds. Join Stepanauskas to discuss the extraordinary life contained in every drop of seawater, and the scientific breakthroughs that are revealing this incredible diversity. Bigelow Laboratory’s Café Sci is a series of free events that helps the public engage with ocean researchers on critical issues and groundbreaking science. This summer, the series of six talks is held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays from July 9 through August 13. For more details and to register for events, visit