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Rare collection that may hold key to ocean's biggest mysteries looks to expand in new waterfront home

BOSTON, July 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.

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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 Collection—a publicly accessible genome biorepository that contains samples of DNA from species—in many cases, rare species—who 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.

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 OGL—to preserve DNA samples from all the ocean's species."

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 collection—whether 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. "

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About OGL
Ocean Genome Legacy ( is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to exploring, preserving and protecting the genomic biodiversity of the sea and to supporting research and educational programs that promote genomic biodiversity conservation. To accomplish this, OGL has created the Ocean Genome Resource (OGR), the nation's first marine-dedicated public DNA bank. The OGR serves as a permanent reference collection, encompassing a broad cross section of the rapidly disappearing biodiversity of the sea and providing a baseline against which the future progress of marine conservation efforts can be measured. The OGR makes DNA samples and complete provenance, taxonomic and ecological data broadly available to the scientific community through its on-line catalog (, to support research that can help protect the oceans and improve the human condition. The catalog is also linked to the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) and Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). Through this public archive, OGR works to ensure maximum benefit from every genomic sample collected by researchers, while at the same time minimizing the negative environmental impacts of scientific sample collection.

About New England Biolabs
Established in the mid 1970's, New England Biolabs, Inc. is the industry leader in the discovery and production of enzymes for molecular biology applications and now offers the largest selection of recombinant and native enzymes for genomic research. NEB continues to expand its product offerings into areas related to PCR, gene expression, library preparation for next generation sequencing, cellular analysis, epigenetics and RNA analysis. Additionally, NEB is focused on strengthening alliances that enable new technologies to reach key market sectors. New England Biolabs is a privately held company, headquartered in Ipswich, MA, and has extensive worldwide distribution through a network of exclusive distributors, agents and seven subsidiaries located in Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and the UK. For more information about New England Biolabs visit

About Northeastern University
Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global, experiential, research university located in Boston. Northeastern is the recognized leader in experiential learning, anchored in the world's largest and most innovative cooperative-education program. We integrate study with opportunities for professional work, research, and service in the United States and 93 other countries. The University's use-inspired research enterprise is strategically aligned with three global imperatives: health, security, and sustainability. Northeastern offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in eight colleges and the School of Law.

SOURCE New England Biolabs, Inc.
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