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Bioscience institutions come together to launch Microlife Discovery Center for area students
Date:3/20/2009

Microbes may hold the key to many of the challenges we face today, such as renewable energy and disease eradication, and yet scientists estimate that they have discovered less than one percent of all microbial species.

Helping students delve into such uncharted scientific territory as a means of heightening their interest and motivation in science and research is the purpose of the Microlife Discovery Center. The Center, to be launched later this month, uses a novel approach to combine San Diego's cutting-edge biotechnology with UCSD's BioBridge science outreach capabilities, giving access to local teachers and students.

The Microlife Discovery Center, developed from a program pioneered by Dr. Jay Short while at the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, aims to motivate and inspire the next generation of scientists and science advocates by engaging students from the San Diego region and beyond, in a hands-on process the MicroBlitzSM -- to discover and describe new microbial life forms.

Through its local partnership with BioBridge (a well-established science education and outreach program at the University of California, San Diego), the Center will teach area students the process of searching for, isolating and identifying microbes in various environments, in addition to studying microbes in laboratory conditions.

The launching of the Microlife Discovery Center -- whose operations will be housed initially at a laboratory facility at BioAtla, a leading protein engineering and evolution company headquartered in San Diego -- was made possible by kind donations from Life Technologies Corporation -- based in Carlsbad, California -- and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation based in Kansas City Missouri. Additional matching contributions were made by Pro-Natura USA, BioAtla LLC, and UCSD's BioBridge science education and outreach program.

The MicroBlitzSM program will be piloted this year with schools from the Sweetwate
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Contact: Michael Dabney
mdabney@ucsd.edu
858-922-0949
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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