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Collection that may hold key to ocean's mysteries looks to expand in new waterfront home

Ocean Genome Legacy (OGL), New England Biolabs, Inc., and Northeastern University have reached an agreement that will bring a collection of DNA and tissue from the world's most rare, strange, and remarkable ocean creatures to the Marine Science Center in Nahant, Massachusetts.

Ocean Genome Legacy

Founded in 2001 by Dr. Donald Comb, also founder and former CEO of New England Biolabs, OGL is a non-profit environmental research organization and DNA bank dedicated to promoting new methods for the study and conservation of marine species through preservation and analysis of their DNA.

As part of its mission, OGL created the Ocean Genome Resource Collectiona publicly accessible genome biorepository that contains samples of DNA from speciesin many cases, rare specieswho call the ocean home. This priceless collection, which will move to Northeastern University's Marine Science Center later this year, is and will continue to be used to uncover some of our ocean's deepest mysteries, and to reveal genomic information that can help cure diseases, improve sustainability of global food and energy supplies, and protect the environment.

Moving to Northeastern

Thanks to the generosity of New England Biolabs and other private donors, and a commitment toward creating a matching endowment, operations of OGL at Northeastern's Marine Science Center will continue and likely expand as the organization moves to its new home. A new lab to house the OGL collection will also be built in the coming years as the collection grows.

"Global change is causing massive biodiversity loss in the oceans and we are thrilled to take responsibility for this unique and important collection," said Northeastern University College of Science Dean J. Murray Gibson. "The collection becomes a focus for our research, education, and outreach, and through this partnership we aim to accelerate the fulfillment of the goal of OGLto preserve DNA samples from all the ocean's species."

Expanding a rare, valuable collection

Northeastern faculty who are involved in genomic research will utilize the Ocean Genome Resource Collection, and students will have the opportunity to contribute to the collectionwhether it be through field collection while studying abroad, or through internships and coursework at the marine lab.

"A respect for Nature and a desire to preserve its precious resources lies at the heart of our environmental philosophy here at NEB," stated Sir Richard Roberts, CSO of NEB and Chairman of OGL's Board. "OGL's relocation to the Marine Science Center will ensure OGL's stability and growth in the years ahead so that it can fulfill its mission to archive and preserve marine biodiversity and support a wide range of marine-related research."

"This is a great opportunity for OGL to join forces with Northeastern, a major research university with a huge commitment to environmental sustainability and education," said Dan Distel, Executive Director of OGL. "The outstanding faculty, students and infrastructure and the forward-looking philosophy of Northeastern University and the Marine Science Center provide a growth opportunity for OGL that would be hard to match anywhere else. "


Contact: Dan Distel
Northeastern University College of Science

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