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Kristen Rathjen with microbe cultures used in CF study

Marine Microbes vs. Cystic Fibrosis

Technician Kristen Rathjen displays flasks of microbial cultures that are part of a project in Tracy Mincer’s lab to generate potential treatments for cystic fibrosis (CF). As they grow, marine microbes produce a wide variety of compounds they use to ward off predators, communicate with each other, and perform other important functions. Some of the compounds may be able to alleviate the symptoms of CF, which causes cells to produce thick, sticky mucus and results in debilitating symptoms and, in most cases, premature death. Mincer recently started the project with funding from the Flatley Discovery Lab of Charlestown, Mass. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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