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Jim Ryder, a senior engineering assistant at WHOI, inspects components of a mooring and buoy that have been biofouled—that is, coated with algae, barnacles, or other gripping organisms. Biofouling is a scourge of mariners, particularly when it occurs on ships’ hulls. It starts when marine microbes settle on hard surfaces creating a biofilm. That attracts algae and barnacles. During World War II, WHOI scientists developed paints that helped the U.S. Navy to reduce biofouling on ship hulls and save fuel. Today, WHOI scientists are working to understand the biofouling process in an effort to find even better solutions. (Photo by Ellen Roosen, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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