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Jellyfish "... the only other place comparable to these marvelous nether regions, must surely be naked space itself, out far beyond atmosphere, between the stars, where sunlight has no grip upon the dust and rubbish of planetary air, where the blackness of space, the shining planets, comets, suns, and stars must really be closely akin to the world of life as it appears to the eyes of an awed human being, in the open ocean, one half mile down." William Beebe, 1934.

MarBOL is an international initiative to enhance our capacity to identify marine life by utilizing DNA Barcoding  a new technique for that uses a short DNA sequence from a standardized and agreed-upon position in the genome as a molecular diagnostic for species-level identification. DNA barcode sequences are very short relative to the entire genome and they can be obtained reasonably quickly and cheaply. A part of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1  (COI) is emerging as the standard barcode region for almost all groups of higher animals. This fragment is 648 nucleotide base pairs long in most groups and is flanked by regions of conserved sequences, making it relatively easy to amplify and analyze. A  number of studies have shown that the barcode sequence variability is very low within species (generally less than 1-2%) and that the COI sequences of even closely related species differ by several percent, making it possible to identify species with high confidence. Mollusk

MarBOL is a joint effort of the Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL) and the Census of Marine Life (CoML). CoML is a global network of researchers in more than 70 nations engaged in a ten-year initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life in the oceans -- past, present, and future.

What lived in the oceans?
What lives in the oceans?
What will live in the oceans?

These questions were the genesis for the Census of Marine Life, a growing global network of researchers in more than 70 nations engaged in a ten-year initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the ocean and explain how it changes over time.

Through 2010, scientists worldwide will work to quantify what is known, unknown, and what may never be known about the world's oceans-which comprise more than 70 percent of the Earth's surface and more than 90 percent of its biosphere. Their answers will help identify threatened species and important breeding areas, helping authorities develop effective strategies for the sustainable management of marine resources. New pharmaceuticals and industrial compounds are also among the potential uses of the estimated thousands of undescribed species that will be found. And as the secrets of the planet's last unexplored frontier are revealed, our understanding of elemental processes such as climate, evolution, extinction, and migration will expand.

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