THE OCEAN GENOME LEGACY CENTER

A nonprofit marine research facility and genome bank dedicated to exploring and preserving the threatened biological diversity of the sea

THE OCEAN IS LOSING BIODIVERSITY.

WE’re TRYING TO CAPTURE IT BEFORE IT’S GONE.

“By volume, about 99 percent of the habitable portion of our planet is underwater,” says Dan Distel, who directs Northeastern’s Ocean Genome Legacy Center. To explore and preserve the wealth of information contained in the ocean, the center collects DNA samples—over 28,000 so far—and has made that collection available to researchers around the world.

 

RECENT NEWS AND IMPACT

A newly discovered clam eats rock, and no one knows why

Researchers from Northeastern’s Ocean Genome Legacy Center have discovered a new genus and species of shipworm burrowing into the bedrock of a river in the Philippines. The pale, blobby creature, they say in a published paper, has evolved to devour a home in rocks and excrete sand. Their work is part of the Philippine Mollusk Symbiont project, a collaboration led by universities in the United States and the Philippines to simultaneously document the biodiversity of the islands and search for compounds that could be used in human medicine.

By Benjamin Bertch and Adam Fischer

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