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Research on life at high temperatures in Yellowstone (Image 6)


Lucigen's David Mead collects samples of water from Obsidian Hot Spring

David Mead of Lucigen Corporation collects a sample of water from Obsidian Hot Spring in Yellowstone National Park. The sample will be grown in the lab to understand the adaptations that allow life at these temperatures and to uncover genes for heat-stable proteins encoded by these heat-loving organisms.

Such proteins have been useful for a wide range of purposes from cancer research to disease diagnosis to biofuel production. An advantage of bioprospecting over traditional prospecting (i.e., mining for precious metals) is that bioprospecting requires only a single collection of extremely small amounts of biological material that is propagated in the lab. This allows bioprospectors to follow leave-no-trace practices in their research. The only samples removed from the spring are small samples of water. When possible, samples are collected in outflow channels, removing only water that would immediately flow into nearby rivers.

This research was initiated through NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I and II awards (DMI-0109756, DMI-0215988) to Lucigen (Principle Investigator Thomas Schoenfeld). Ongoing work on the project is currently supported by an additional grant (IIP 08-39404), awarded to Lucigen (Schoenfeld). (Date of Image: 2005-2007) [Image 6 of 6 related images. Back to Image 1.]

Credit: David Mead, Lucigen Corporation

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