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Scientists Sequence the Genome of a Disease-fighting Organism in the Sea

Narrator: This is Science Today. University of California, San Diego scientists have solved the genomic puzzle of an organism discovered in the oceans with the potential for producing disease-fighting compounds. Daniel Urdway, a post-doctoral researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography says they've sequenced the genome of Salinispora Tropica, an organism that grows in mud in the Bahamas.

Urdwary: It's been known for some time that this organism produces lots of active molecules. There's one particular molecule called Salinisporamide that's in clinical trials and seems to be very effective against certain types of cancers.

Narrator: By examining the genome sequence of this organism, researchers can look for other similar molecules.

Urdwary: By using genomics, you get to look at everything. You get to look at the blueprint of life for the organism. You see everything that it can possibly do. And that can tell you how to go in and change your laboratory conditions to find drugs that could be useful.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.