What can we learn from microorganisms?
Genetically microorganisms are very different from us. Researchers are interested in studying these differences and learning more about the special adaptations microorganisms have.
In this project researchers will use the ROV to collect samples from the sea floor. They will then try to grow colonies of some of the contained microscopic organisms in the laboratory. This is a challenging undertaking as the researchers must try to imitate the natural environmental conditions in the lab. Unfortunately we know very little about these conditions, so there will necessarily be a great deal of trial and error.
The reason that microbiologists will try to colonise the organisms is that they would like to conduct DNA studies, and they need large amounts of DNA material before these studies can be undertaken. The DNA results will reveal relationships between microorganisms and also provide some information about the special adaptations they have.