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An important area of research emphasis at the Marine Lab is the study of marine natural products, biochemicals produced by marine organisms, which may have parmaceutical applications for human health. Investigations carried out at the Lab are invoved in identifying marine species that produce potentially interesting natural products, extracting and characterixing those chemicals, and cooperating with researchers at biomedical facilities elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad where potentially interesting chemicals are screened for their effectiveness as possible pharmaceuticals. Marine organisms produce these chemicals for their own use (such as for defenses against natural predators). Hence, another area of interest is the significance of these chemicals in mediating species interactions and influencing the structure of coral-reef communities.
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