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FAU Scientists first to 'unlock' the mystery of creating cultured pearls ...

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FAU Scientists first to 'unlock' the mystery of creating cultured pearls ...



BOCA RATON, FL (November 4, 2009) – For more than 25 years, all attempts at culturing pearls from the queen conch (Strombus gigas) have been unsuccessful—until now. For the first time, novel and proprietary seeding techniques to produce beaded (nucleated) and non-beaded cultured pearls from the queen conch have been developed by scientists from Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI). With less than two years of research and experimentation, Drs. Héctor Acosta-Salmón and Megan Davis, co-inventors, have produced more than 200 cultured pearls using the techniques they developed. Prior to this breakthrough, no high-quality queen conch pearl had been cultured. This discovery opens up a unique opportunity to introduce a new gem to the industry. This significant accomplishment is comparable to that of the Japanese in the 1920s when they commercially applied the original pearl culture techniques developed for pearl oysters.

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Re: FAU Scientists first to 'unlock' the mystery of creating cultured pearls ...

Thats an interesting article.  I'm curious as to what they're implantation method is, because like the article says, a conch's shell is constructed as a spiral, unlike a bivalve's.  This could also be a viable source of income for HBOI's ORA division since conch's are fairly easy to raise in captivity and they have a long life span.  They may already be raising them, I'm not sure.

FAU - We got Bowls!
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Re: FAU Scientists first to 'unlock' the mystery of creating cultured pearls ...

Talked to some people who work up at Harbor Branch and they really do not like FAU.

Apparently there's a substantial family atmosphere there and when FAU took over HBOI they eliminated a lot of people who had worked there for years…. for instance, people who had worked in HR since FAU already had a HR department.

But the biggest offense came when FAU sold off the boat and sub that you use for deep water research. That's a huge, huge blow since HBOI was nationally known for that research… which they now cannot do.

So some of the distinguished faculty left. The ones that are there sell themselves as HBOI researchers rather than FAU researchers.

Not a good situation.

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Re: FAU Scientists first to 'unlock' the mystery of creating cultured pearls ...

Another example of good intentions gone bad I guess.  It was a shame when I head they sold off the ship and sub, that was the heart and soul of HBOI.  I'm still kickin myself for not takin any classes up there when I had the chance, but that time is past now.  Hopefully this does not turn into another FAU disaster.

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Re: FAU Scientists first to 'unlock' the mystery of creating cultured pearls ...

duder said

Another example of good intentions gone bad I guess.  It was a shame when I head they sold off the ship and sub, that was the heart and soul of HBOI.  I'm still kickin myself for not takin any classes up there when I had the chance, but that time is past now.  Hopefully this does not turn into another FAU disaster.

Well, they're constructing a new building up there to expand the lab and the aquaculture (aka fish-farming) is going strong. FAU has been sending out mass emails saying they're going to be narrowing down FAU's diverse research interests into a handful of categories that will "propel us into national prominence" and then making a concerted effort to fund those projects (and hire more faculty, I assume).

I know President Brogan wanted FAU's name to be synonymous with water research: marine biology, ocean engineering, Everglades conservation. Even though he's gone, I'm sure they intend to continue that mission. There's really no reason not to when you already have a strong base and, in the case of HBOI, the facilities.

Still, they need to get that ship and sub back if possible.

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Re: FAU Scientists first to 'unlock' the mystery of creating cultured pearls ...

owlcountry said

duder said

Another example of good intentions gone bad I guess.  It was a shame when I head they sold off the ship and sub, that was the heart and soul of HBOI.  I'm still kickin myself for not takin any classes up there when I had the chance, but that time is past now.  Hopefully this does not turn into another FAU disaster.

Well, they're constructing a new building up there to expand the lab and the aquaculture (aka fish-farming) is going strong. FAU has been sending out mass emails saying they're going to be narrowing down FAU's diverse research interests into a handful of categories that will "propel us into national prominence" and then making a concerted effort to fund those projects (and hire more faculty, I assume).

I know President Brogan wanted FAU's name to be synonymous with water research: marine biology, ocean engineering, Everglades conservation. Even though he's gone, I'm sure they intend to continue that mission. There's really no reason not to when you already have a strong base and, in the case of HBOI, the facilities.

Still, they need to get that ship and sub back if possible.

The marine research department is what made me choose FAU, and once I got there, honestly I was a little dissapointed with the facilities and opporitinuties at first.  HBOI came along in stages during my years at FAU, and it wasn't till my last year (03) that a semester of classes was available.  I'm sure the sub and ship were incredidbly expensive to maintain, but I also believe a lot of their research grant money was going to come from deep water exploration.  Mainly from finding pharmaceutical uses for compounds found in marine organisms.  Seems like this is the new "rainforest" full of cures.

Eitherway, I think they're aquaculture program has the potential to do some real exciting things in the near future.  I think it's only a matter of time before it becomes uneconomical to go offshore and catch fish commercially, and aquaculture will be the source of the general public's seafood.  But there are a lot of problems with some of the current methods, maybe HBOI can be the one to figure it out.

FAU - We got Bowls!
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