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Success story! Advanced geobiology answers with NanoSIMS at Caltech

Monday, January 4, 2021

The research of Dr. Orphan’s team at Caltech ranges from isotope fingerprinting of microorganisms to peptidoglycan synthesis in insect bacteria to exciting new analyses of individual marine viruses collected from the environment.

Much of it is based on a fusion that Dr. Orphan helped pioneer as a graduate student at UCSB with Ed DeLong in collaboration with Chris House at Penn State University and Kevin McKeegan (UCLA): the combination of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to identify individual cells, and ultra-fine analysis using NanoSIMS to characterize each cell’s chemical makeup and isotopic distribution.

Ocean-floor emissions of the greenhouse gas methane have gained increasing importance in modeling global climate change. In a recent study, Dr Orphan investigated the anabolic activity patterns of marine symbiotic micro-organisms ocean-floor methane seeps. What her team discovered about the microorganisms’ symbiosis triggered a surprising new hypothesis.

Download the success story Advanced Geobiology Answers with CAMECA NanoSIMS at Caltech to learn more!