By Stefan Helmreich
Alien Ocean immerses readers in worlds being newly explored via marine biologists, worlds frequently out of sight and succeed in: the deep sea, the microscopic realm, and oceans past nationwide barriers. operating along scientists at sea and in labs in Monterey Bay, Hawai'i, the Woods gap Oceanographic establishment, and the Sargasso Sea and at undersea volcanoes within the japanese Pacific, Stefan Helmreich charts how revolutions in genomics, bioinformatics, and distant sensing have pressed marine biologists to work out the ocean as lively by way of its smallest population: marine microbes. Thriving in astonishingly severe stipulations, such microbes became key figures in medical and public debates in regards to the beginning of existence, weather switch, biotechnology, or even the potential for lifestyles on different worlds.
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Extra resources for Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages in Microbial Seas
It is a problem that visits more and more academics in this age of scholarly temp work, and it is something these oceanographers have in common with this anthropologist. My fiancee lives in Pasadena and we see each other only occasionally, though her one-year job teaching anthropology in Claremont has made my fieldwork geographically-and, to begin, financially-feasible. Familiar to me, too, is the way marine biologists' negotiations between the personal and professional demand that they constantly articulate their research to a variety of possible employers-that they have flexible identities while building recognizable expertise.
The bed sits a few millimeters deep in a circular petri dish, permitting clumps of E. coli"colonies," in lab language-to form on the agar, dotting the plate with tiny, pale flesh-colored circles. Figure 8 shows DeLong looking through a circular plate specked with colonies of clones. The plate is labeled HF 70, which stands for Hawaii Ocean Time-series, Fosmid library, 70 meters down. I cannot help but compare this picture to DeLong's slide of Leonardo's Man against planet Earth; here again, a human has a whole world in his hands.
44 This is not merely a technologically innovative genre of genomics; it represents a theoretically novel mode of parsing the biotic world. This is a genomics beyond organisms, a practice that implicitly queries whether individuals are the only evolutionarily meaningful units. "45 In the view of DeLong and others, the microbial ocean can profitably be seen as a sea of genes. 46 Scientists at MBARI store, summarize, and analyze fragments of this sea in gene libraries. How are libraries compiled?