ISB News

4 Minutes of Green Gold: Watch Algae Grow

There’s something calming about watching algae grow. What you see in the tubes are two types of algae: Thalassiosira pseudonana or “Thaps” is the brown diatom. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii or “Chlamy” is the green algae. We use Thaps to study ocean acidification and Chlamy is for studying biofuel production.

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ISB 2014 Retreat

ISB held its all-staff retreat in Leavenworth on Sept. 8 and 9. In order to do the kind of science we do, we need time away to connect with one another, recharge and envision big ideas. While there are plenty of sessions on our science, there are also plenty of opportunities to have a little fun. This year, we held an “open-mic” night. Several ISB staffers performed – including Dr….

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Partnership for Science and Engineering Practices (PSEP) is one of our current partnerships to foster STEM collaborations. In this photo, educators from Seattle and Renton public school districts participate in a recent PSEP workshop.

A Comment About Gov. Inslee’s Announcement of $170,000 STEM Award

WHAT YOU SAW IN THE NEWS: On Aug. 14, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices awarded Washington State a $170,000 grant to support the launch of the STEM Education Innovation Alliance, which is tasked with bringing together business leaders and educators in order to help more students acquire the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills they need to qualify for the increasing…

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LAB NOTEBOOK: Evolution Beyond Darwin

(Photo: Dr. Sui Huang presenting during an ISB systems biology discussion group on May 15, 2014.) LAB NOTEBOOK: At ISB, we hold systems biology discussion groups every Thursday during lunch. The topics vary from week to week, but the intention is to inspire exchanges amongst our staff. Today's discussion group was presented by Dr. Sui Huang – our resident theorist, who always poses just the right question to provoke thought…

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Photo of set of commercial shoot.

ISB Serves as Backdrop for Columbia Bank Commercial

In April 2012, Seattle-based advertising and public relations agency GreenRubino shot a commercial for Columbia Bank using ISB as the set. The producers needed a vibrant, “science-y” set for the TV ad featuring a Columbia Bank client who also happens to be a molecular biologist – and, no, Bert does not work at ISB. ISB’s bold connectivity walls captured the producers’ imaginations. We were delighted to see the commercial on…

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‘Decoding DNA: The Future of DNA Sequencing’: Dr. Lee Hood Appears on Australian Radio Show

Dr. Lee Hood was interviewed by Dr. Norman Swan, of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, for the "Health Report" show. The interview aired on radio on Feb. 24, 2014. Listen to the radio segment. SEGMENT TRANSCRIPT: (Editor's note: ABC identifies Institute for Systems Biology as part of the University of Washington in the audio and in the transcript. ISB is an independent nonprofit organization and NOT a part of the UW.)…

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ISBers Doing Cool Things: Running a Marathon on Antarctica

Allison Lee, a research associate at ISB who blogged about her research cruise on the Ross Sea in Antarctica, recently wrote a piece for Northwest Runner about her experience running a marathon at McMurdo Station. In a banana costume. You can read her account (Antarctica Marathon Article). You can read about her research in Antarctica and view some of the wonderful photos of ice, algae and penguins here.

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photo of sofware engineer waving

ISB Retreat 2013: Wellness and Community

“This is the best retreat we’ve ever had – I say that every year. But this was a singular retreat in that it catalyzed an enormously interesting conversation about future opportunities.” – Lee Hood Every September, ISB holds an all-staff overnight retreat to step away from the day-to-day, celebrate the highlights from the past year, ponder the future and, of course, have some fun. We returned to Seabeck Conference Center…

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ISBers Doing Cool Things: Consulting on a Commerical Shoot

ISB sometimes gets requests from production crews who need to film in a lab setting. Our labs are so open and beautiful that producers get excited about shooting on site. We worked with crew that was shooting a commercial for a large brokerage firm that featured an actor playing a scientist. Four of our scientists got the opportunity to be extras for the shoot. They also served as consultants, teaching…

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ISBers Doing Cool Things: Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

Would you consider hiking the entire Pacific Crest Trail from Campo, California, on the Mexican border all the way north to Manning Park, British Columbia? David Baxter, a research associate at ISB, hiked 2650 miles from April to September 2012 and recently gave a presentation about his journey. Before he left, he said this about why he wanted to complete the hike: “I’ve been hiking for about 10 years now…

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ISB in Antarctica: Researcher Receives Medal

Allison Lee, who traveled to Antarctica this spring aboard a research cruise on an icebreaker in the Ross Sea, just received an Antarctic Service Medal for her participation. The medal was created by Congress and presented by the National Science Foundation to those who serve on a U.S. expedition to Antarctica. Allison is a member of the Nitin Baliga Lab and has been working closely with senior research scientist Mónica Orellana,…

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Scenes from Luxembourg

ISB is co-hosting a scientific symposium with Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine in Luxembourg City on June 10-11. Here are some scenes from Luxembourg pre-symposium. The full set of images can be found at this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/90930918@N08/sets/72157634024779425/

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ISB in Antarctica: Give Us the Water!

By Allison Lee, ISB Research Associate Just how much water is there to be had in the Ross Sea? There are approximately 265,000,000,000,000,000 liters*. Did that number go in one eye and out the other? It did for me. Let’s just say that’s a lot of water and scientists want to know about all of it—where it came from, where it’s going, the chemistry, the biology, temperature, salinity, floating particles,…

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ISB in Antarctica: Pancake Ice & Algae Snot

This pancake ice is unreal! The brown water is all algae (phytoplankton), which is what I study. I look at the mucous (or microgels) that the algae produce. Scientists suspect that microgels make up about 10 percent of the carbon that exists as dissolved organic matter in the oceans. You also can see how the Katabatic winds (about 70 mph) lift the sea spray off the waves. (All photos by…

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ISB in Antarctica: Wild Kingdom

Today was a wildlife smorgasbord. We saw three Emperor penguins, a molting Adelie penguin (they don’t go swimming when they’re molting), snow petrels, and a pod of seven Orca whales. Fossils of penguins indicate they used to be six feet tall! (All photos are by Rob Dunbar.)

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ISB in Antarctica: Algae Samples

It’s not all about water. Studying the cycle of carbon in the sea is a huge undertaking. There are so many parts to look at all the way from the sea surface to the deepest depths. The Ross Sea ranges from about 500 to 1,200 meters deep. Scientists on board want a closer look at the sea’s bottom. We have cameras that are able to take photos of the sea…

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ISB in Antarctica: Light to Dark

Every day, we are gaining 15 minutes of darkness. This is a drastic, notable change from the 24 hours of daylight we experienced in February. March 21 marks the beginning of eternal darkness for those wintering at the South Pole.

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ISB in Antarctica: Cruise Tracks & Cornhole

By Allison Lee To keep morale high on the ship we busted out Cards Against Humanity and Cornhole Tournaments… Here is an image of our cruise tracks. We’ve been following locations of deep water, high algae production waters, and low pCO2 waters. The last couple of days we’ve been drifting with the ice. Last night, we had some icebergs attack us. The surface ice we are drifting with is blown…

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