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NURP and Marine Biotechnology: Catching the Wave of the Future
This story entered on 2nd Jun, 2003 12:18:16 PM PST



· In general, for terrestrial samples, 1 out of 10,000 samples is a significant biomedical "hit" (i.e., forwarded to clinical trials).

· For marine samples, 1 in 5,000 samples is a significant biomedical "hit." Marine samples have a greater bioactivity, in comparison to terrestrial samples, and it is thought that this may be due to their higher chemical diversity.

· OCBR has set a goal to collect, analyze, and archive 500-1000 marine samples each year.


Did you know that last year NURP, through NIUST, collected 600 samples from U.S. Coral Reefs to be analyzed for biotechnological value?


In 2001, NURP partnered with the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi to form the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology (NIUST). NIUST is focused on national and global research issues, and specifically on the development of new products from the sea and new technologies for exploring the ocean's harsh and extreme environments. NIUST is composed of three divisions with one division, the Ocean Biotechnology Center and Repository (OBCR), focusing solely on marine biotechnology.

As marine biodiversity becomes more threatened and biotechnological resources advance, the need for a national repository of marine organisms has increased. OCBR was established to meet the national need of a repository of biochemical/molecular products of marine organisms from U.S. and international waters for use by the biotechnology research sector. The OCBR is the FIRST REPOSITORY dedicated solely to marine organisms in the nation and in the world.

Data and samples for the national repository will be collected from research scientists around the world. This material will be archived and assessed for collection-site phenotypic diversity. Additionally, all information regarding the marine organisms' biological, molecular, and chemical characteristics will be recorded in a database, which will be accessible to research scientists interested in biotechnological applications.

Contact information
Name: Kimberly Puglise


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Updated: January 20, 2005