by | Sep 13, 2016 | 0 comments

OGL Samples Advance Critical Sepsis Research

Did you know that sepsis, an overreaction of the immune system to infection, is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year in the United States alone? To combat this deadly condition, Ocean Genome Legacy (OGL) is contributing to important immune research to fight sepsis.

What causes the body to react to infection? Why do some bacteria produce a greater immune response than others? Ph.D. candidate Anna Gauthier, of the Kagan Lab at Harvard University and the Rotjan Lab at the New England Aquarium, is using OGL samples to help solve these mysteries.

Ph.D. candidate Anna Gauthier and sperm whales, one of the species from OGL’s biorepository that Gauthier will use to investigate immune systems in marine animals. Photo credit: Kagan Lab & Wikimedia commons

To tackle these questions, Gauthier is studying the innate immune system, an ancient line of defense against infection found in all animals both on land and in the sea. By looking at immune system genes across the vast diversity of marine life, from gargantuan whales to minute shrimp, and comparing those to human genes, she hopes to discover features that can help explain how this form of immunity works.

Gauthier’s work with OGL samples will help to provide vital knowledge about our own immune systems, findings that may help doctors fight infectious disease and sepsis.

The OGL biorepository works with scientists around the globe to preserve valuable DNA samples that can lead to new cures and discoveries. To support our efforts, please consider making a gift.

RECENT NEWS BRIEFS

The Wacky Underwater World 

What animal lives more than 250 years but never eats a thing? If you guessed the deep-sea tubeworm Escarpia laminata, you would be correct—and also probably a deep-sea biologist!   Escarpia laminata lives near deep-sea cold seeps, places where methane...

OGL publishes a new paper—about itself!

Have you ever wondered what goes on at the Ocean Genome Legacy Center? If so, you are not alone.   We frequently receive questions such as: Who can use OGL’s collections? What is in them? Where do the samples come from? How do I contact and work with OGL? To answer...

Nightmare fuel from the sea

It is Halloween again, and time for us to dress up and terrify our neighbors! Let’s look at the winners of this year’s spookiest creatures of the deep blue sea! Second place—Chondrocladia verticillata What if SpongeBob developed a taste for fresh meat? The answer is...

Meet OGL’s new faces—and their new projects!

This month, OGL is welcoming a new postdoctoral fellow and two new co-op students! Did you know that some bacteria stab their competitors with poison darts? In her PhD research at UNC Chapel Hill, Dr. Lauren Speare showed how glowing symbionts use this strategy to...

New Tools for Teachers

Science teachers are awesome! Middle and high school teachers are on the front lines of science education, teaching a generation that not only can save our planet, but must. To do our small part to help these heroes, Ocean Genome Legacy and the Outreach Program at...

X