Today we had two excellent lectures by Lisa and Steve. The commander gave a lecture on protistan diseases such as Bonamiasis, Haplosporidiosis, and Bitter Crab Syndrome (my favorite of them all). It was neat to realize that there is almost certainly tons of disease in the world, but we mostly only notice them in organisms of commercial value. Imagine what must be going on right under our noses!
Steve also gave an very though-provoking lecture on QPX and how molecular methods can give us insight to the relationship between the pathogen and the host as modulated by the environment. It’s becoming increasingly clear that seeing the story of the data is complex – there are multiple ways to interpret even the same data. It’s also clear that advances in molecular techniques are letting us see even more into host-pathogen relationships than ever before.
Unfortunately, I missed much of the laby-oyster labwork for today. Morgan, Allison, Collin, and I began our set-up of a sea star experiment using sea stars that we had hoped were healthy but (as we recently found) were not. We are now trying to make the best use of an unplanned situation – saving and sampling as much of these sea stars as we can. Our only other option would be to simply euthanize and dispose of them, but it would be wasteful when we could do so much more. More to come on this later!