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1999 Projects

Current Projects

Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Benthic processes
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Midwater research
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Upper ocean biogeochemistry
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) New research platforms
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) ROV improvements
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Mooring improvements
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) New in-situ Instruments
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Information management and archiving
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Education and outreach
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) 1998 Projects
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) 1997 Projects


1999 Projects: New in-situ Instruments

Aquatic Autosampler 2000

Project leads: Gene Massion and Chris Scholin
Project manager: Gene Massion
Project team: Mark Brown, Danelle Cline, Roman Marin, Robert Matson (Beckman Corp., external collaborator), and Dave Wright

Molecular (DNA, antibody) assays offer one means to facilitate the rapid detection and quantification of a wide range of organisms and the particular genes they harbor and express. However, such assays are presently hindered by the need for highly repetitive operations that demand trained personnel and specialized laboratory facilities. These requirements restrict the utilization of molecular probes for ecological studies, because the rate of sample processing is inherently limited and application of the technology outside of a laboratory setting is difficult or, more often, impossible. Overcoming these obstacles requires novel instrumentation. For environmental application such instrumentation should be portable, simple to use, capable of autonomous operation in situ, and equipped for real-time data transmission. This type of device would revolutionize our ability to study microorganisms at the molecular and cellular level and to monitor changes in their abundances under fluctuating physical and chemical oceanographic conditions.

Under this two-year project we will develop an aquatic autosampler device that embodies the attributes needed to advance methodology for molecular probe assays. The autosampler will collect discrete water samples autonomously, concentrate particles from the samples onto filter disks, and automate application of DNA (or other molecular) probes to identify and quantify particular species of plankton so captured. Although this instrument is envisioned to function with complete autonomy, its expressed purpose will be to complement and enhance chemical and other sensors that would typically be deployed alongside the autosampler, whether aboard a ship, an ROV, and AUV, or a moored or drifting platform.

Next: Solid-state chemical analyzers

Last updated: 07 October 2004