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Sediment-collecting mus snapper

The mud snapper, a sediment-collecting device that collects samples of mud from the ocean floor


The mud snapper, a sediment-collecting device that collects samples of mud from the ocean floor at depths as far as 3600 feet. The device is tethered to a stainless steel cable and can be dropped from a small boat. When the sampler reaches the bottom, the jaw trips and a sample of the bottom sediment is collected. A strong fishing reel retrieves the snapper and the contents are then studied using several newly devised microbiological methods. With the aid of the mud snapper, a new genus of bacteria was recently discovered, the Salinospora, a major new source for the discovery of new antibiotics.

More about this image
This image was taken during research conducted by William Fenical, a professor of oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and his team. Fenical's many research projects may require support from both the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NSF support is used for the environmental exploration side of his work and then for example, if a project turns from fundamental marine chemical ecology to biomedicine, the research then receives support from NIH (NSF does not support direct biomedical research).

Credit: William Fenical

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