The underwater forest has created a very interesting scene with flock of fish swimming through a shaggy juniper forest over 60,000 years old. Not only that, this is an endless source of research for scientists in the field of medicine and biochemistry.
According to the research of scientists, this cypress forest flourished on land around the time that prehistoric people began to migrate out of Africa. When the trees died and fell, some of them formed peat and sediment. When the Ice Age ended, the sea level rose and submerged the remaining trees into the ocean.
The ancient undersea forest was first discovered by Hurricane Ivan in the Gulf Bay, Alabama in 2004 at a depth of 20 meters above sea level. The exact location of this unique forest remains a secret to the public.
According to Margo Haygood, a molecular biologist at the University of Utah, the site of the site could be the tip of the iceberg and will offer valuable clues about ancient forests in the ocean. , there will likely be many more forests in this Gulf Bay area.
Margo Haygood is a researcher in a group of scientists who are studying the biotechnology and application of the bacterial species of this aquatic forest ecosystem. In December last year, the researchers first made an expedition into the woods on the E.O research vessel. Wilson, funded by the NOAA Ocean Research and Discovery Office.
NOAA published the latest footage of the underwater forest earlier this week, and the team is expected to publish research results from that trip within the next few months.
Video exploring underwater forests
Like on land, these dead trees contain a variety of life forms that scientists are now beginning to collect and research in the lab. Margo Haygood and his colleagues isolated the layers on the harvested tree trunk and found numerous types of microorganisms in the samples.
Marine microorganisms have long been a source of research for new pharmaceuticals and clinical treatments. However, the microorganisms found here have never been studied before. Scientists have recovered more than 100 types of microorganisms and 200 types of animals from the trunk. These types of bacteria are useful for medical and pharmaceutical research and tend to be symbiotic with host organisms.
As Margo Haygood explains, for bacteria that live in a stable environment with their hosts and other organisms over millions of years of evolution together, the chemicals they create are useful and effective. to hosts, not harmful to their hosts.
Inside the mollusks and microorganisms found, there is a digestive process that breaks down the cellulose structure, which is hard to break down on the trunk. This is still a mystery, but scientists say bacteria have produced an enzyme that can break down wood molecular structures and turn into sugars. These enzymes enter the intestines of some animals and help the animal digest and convert wood into sugar.
The whole unique process has made the research scientists interested and conducting further research so that they can find new results in the field of pharmaceutical research. The rich and special ecosystem here will be a valuable treasure for integrated biochemical research works.
Refer to Vice