Chemical samples in the Analytical Facility - Photo: Marc Tule
Scripps chemists examine natural processes and human-caused effects occurring in the marine environment, the atmosphere, and geophysical systems. Research combines field observations with laboratory projects and computer modeling.
Scripps scientists are pioneers in monitoring variations in the chemistry of the atmosphere and the global carbon cycle. Researchers examine marine pollution and environmental impacts, the chemistry of deep-sea cores, the geochemistry of nearshore sediments, as well as extraterrestrial biochemistry and the origins of life.
Research programs in natural-products chemistry at Scripps Oceanography have contributed to the development of a number of medicines that have proven effective in the treatment of certain cancers, arthritis, and other diseases.
A team of Scripps chemists is simulating chemical environments in the laboratory that model conditions that may have occurred when life first began on Earth. By studying primordial biochemistry, they are attempting to understand the genetics of the planet's earliest life forms. Other researchers plan to search for the chemical signatures of life in Martian soil in upcoming Mars science missions.
Marine chemists are examining the structure, production, and removal of long-lasting organic compounds in the deep ocean and in seafloor sediments. Results of this research will contribute to a better understanding of global carbon cycling.