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Venter Institute Launches the J. Robert Beyster and Life Technologies 2009-2010 Research Voyage of the Sorcerer II Expedition
Date:3/18/2009

Team will sail to Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Seas, sampling water and cataloguing microbial diversity

Expedition funded by local San Diego supporters Beyster Family Foundation Fund and matching grants from Life Technologies and others

SAN DIEGO, March 18, /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) today announced the launch of a new Sorcerer II Expedition--the J. Robert Beyster and Life Technologies 2009-2010 Research Voyage. This two year sailing voyage will sample the microbial diversity in the Baltic, Mediterranean, and Black Seas and is being funded by the Beyster Family Foundation of The San Diego Foundation and matching support from Life Technologies Corporation and other anonymous donors. These seas are of scientific interest because they are among the world's largest seas isolated from the major oceans and will likely contain unique microbial communities.

Armed with the tools and techniques developed to sequence the human and other genomes, the Sorcerer II Expedition's mission is to sample the world's waters to detect the microorganisms that live there. For this journey, the Sorcerer II and her crew led by J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., will leave their home port of San Diego, CA on March 19th and travel south along the coast of Mexico, through the Panama Canal, to Florida, Bermuda, the Azores, and then land in Plymouth, England. From UK waters the research vessel will then sail to Stockholm, Sweden where she and the crew will sample extensively in the Baltic Sea throughout the summer of 2009. The Sorcerer II will then sample in the Mediterranean and Black Seas in 2010.

"With the success of the initial Sorcerer II Expedition in which we have so far discovered approximately 20 million new genes and thousands of new protein families, we are excited to now sample in new environments on this journey to the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean," said Dr. Venter. "We are co
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SOURCE J. Craig Venter Institute
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