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Ann Tarrant and Adam Reitzel

Using Tiny Animals to Study a Big Problem

Biologist Ann Tarrant and postdoc Adam Reitzel examine tiny starlet anemones (Nematostella vectensis, the tan blobs visible in the dishes) that they culture. The anemones, from salt marshes all along the East Coast, are ideal subjects for Tarrant, who studies invertebrate animals' molecular responses to environmental stresses. Because they had previously developed techniques for studying this species, Tarrant, Reitzel and colleague Matt Jenny (University of Alabama) could quickly begin investigating the anemones' responses to oil pollution from the Deepwater Horizon spill. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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