Launch Date: 1998
Charles Howard, Captain/Engineer
The Sorcerer II Expedition is a global oceanographic mission to sample and discover microbes around the world, led by J. Craig Venter, the scientist who pioneered methods for decoding the human genome. Venter and his colleagues at the Venter Institute outfitted SORCERER II sailboat as a research vessel and set sail in Spring 2003.
Their mission is to build on and extend what is known about the vast unseen world of microorganisms, using the modern tools of genomics.
A major goal is to identify and publish a "genomic catalog" of the rich microbial diversity of our planet. They began their mission with a trip to the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda, where they collected samples of water containing more than a million "new" genes found in at least 1,800 species of bacteria, including 150 new ones.
Click here to visit the SORCERER II website , with a voyage tracker and more information on their mission, including the sampling methods they are using, scientific data collected and several photos.