by Carl Tant
This title was first conceived a few years ago as a new compact annotated review in the ASB Series. At that time, the science of Marine Biotechnology was in its infancy. Research was limited and many publications were difficult to access. So, we waited. With rapid growth of the subject recently, the time has finally come.
The purpose of an annotated explanatory research review for advanced high school and undergraduate college students has been retained, but the book has been massively expanded to include other interests and needs such as those of industry and K-12 teachers. Awesome Oceans – Advances in Marine Biotechnology is reaching publication as a major reference and sourcebook with numerous summary charts and tables. At approximately 400 pages with over 400 citations and references to peer reviewed research literature with a corresponding full bibliography. Many terms applied to the oceans are unique, or new, so an extensive glossary is included.
The ocean is an unbelievably complex system of interdependence and other ecological relationships. Predators become prey. An organism producing a defensive toxin might also by the same action be producing a new drug to fight cancer or infections tomorrow. Very specialized bacteria and other species living under adverse conditions where just a few years ago no life was thought to exist are now called extremophiles and their contributions are being explored. New surgical materials, dietary products, and new drugs for previously untreatable diseases are being developed along with new processes for industry such as corrosion prevention and bioremediation.
Don’t get the idea that new miracles from the sea are just around the corner as popular media might lead you to believe. They are not. Time will be required as the science develops new applications such as nanobiotechnology. We take a look at the problems as well as potential benefits.
Everyone needs an occasional day off, so we have even included two chapters for seaweed foods and art. Enjoy! Explanatory drawings and full color undersea photographs will simplify understanding unfamiliar subjects.
The interrelationships of marine organisms with each other and their physical environment are so complex that simple groupings by organism or function do not work here. That is one reason we decided to publish this reference on CD in pdf. If hard copy were used, the reader would waste endless time and wear out fingertips flipping back and forth between a huge index and related topics. Use of the new Adobe ReaderTM 7 or later will find what you want in seconds. CD publication also means low cost compared with what the price would be in hard copy.
Advances in marine biotechnology are now coming so fast that keeping up with them can be a problem. We have created an additional website with free access for updates and new information as it develops. The site is still under construction, but already has some added information and a Science Fair Project idea along with short descriptions of forthcoming related titles.