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Molecular technologies for marine monitoring
Project: TechOceanS

Funding: EU H2020-Blue Growth

The ocean covers 70% of our planet, provides trillions of dollars in ecosystem services, and sustains the habitability of our planet. The ocean remains undersampled despite being heavily impacted by human activity such as global warming, overexploitation, microplastic pollution and mining. Effective monitoring and management is limited by our capacity to generate data at relevant timescales and at the point of need. Considering the ocean’s size and dynamic nature, ship-based missions and complex laboratory analytical procedures provide limited spatial and temporal resolution. Our novel technologies for rapid isothermal amplification and detection of nucleic acids are ideally suited for analytical platforms that can operate independently in remote locations. The Biosensors lab at IMBB is leading the development of a new generation of rapid nucleic acid sensors for in situ quantification of important microorganisms and environmental DNA targets. Some key foci include real-time monitoring of harmful algal blooms and tracking invasive fish populations. This new capability for remote, real-time monitoring of marine ecosystems will aid policy decisions and conservation efforts during a period of rapid environmental change. 

Find out more:

Lionfish in Cretaquarium,  sampling seawater for eDNA by Stand Up Paddle Board or SCUBA diving, and sample analysis on site using a portable molecular detection system. 

Photo credits: Chris Georgiadis and Philipos Marakis.

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