What Could We Learn from Depth?

Depth has many wonders. The marine diversity remains unexplored. What could engineers do to help?

The passion for discovery and exploring new limits pushes one to go deep in the sea. Divers are always excited to find new, marvelous, and impressive creatures after spending hours in the most beautiful reefs of the Pacific. While our eyes capture things that are as big as our hair size, we are missing much information regarding the extent of the marine diversity.

There are a large number of microbes that are known to be beneficial to marine life. For example, a squid needs a certain density of vibrio fisheri in order to generate light that assists in camouflaging itself to more easily attack its prey.  Yet, there are other species of microbes that are beneficial to us as they produce compounds needed for us- as humans- to survive. In addition, they could also be agents that contribute to the remediation of many pollutants that are spilled deliberately or accidently into the ocean. Again, we do not want to forget that the microbes composing the marine ecosystem greatly provide us with pure air to breath and remain alive

How can we recognize those species from such a diverse environment?  How deep can we go to find them? Our research focuses on developing new tools to screen microbial species that have not yet been investigated because of being unculturable. As a famous scientist suggested, “these microbes are unknown because we do not know our to culture them.” I am very enthusiastic about my next dive. It could be a great opportunity to test the limit of our culture system and screen for the microbial diversity.