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Images: Bringing a Lab to the Seafloor

WHOI microbiologist Craig Taylor and a team of WHOI engineers designed and built Vent-SID, shown here in the high bay in the Rinehart Coastal Reseach Center at WHOI. Orange battery packs heat twin chambers to the temperatures of fluid emanating from hydrothermal vents. The long clear tube has a nozzle to suck vent fluids into test chambers. (Fred Thwaites, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Atlantis Bosun Patrick Hennessey and Ordinary Seaman Clindor Chacho begin to lower Vent-SID to the seafloor via a wire. (Jennifer Barone)
Vent-SID was deployed atop a vent site on the seafloor called Crab Spa. The Vent-SID collects fluid from the vent and incubates it in the white chambers near the top. Then it measures the rates at which microbes in the vent fluids perform chemosynthesis. (Courtesy of Chief Scientist Stefan Sievert, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Using Alvin's manipulator arm, a pilot positions Vent-SID's umbilicus into place at a warm-water vent and trigger the start of sampling vent fluids into the device incubation chambers. (Courtesy of Chief Scientist Stefan Sievert, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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