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At nearly four feet tall, the Emperor penguin is Antarctica’s largest sea bird—and thanks to films like “March of the Penguins” and “Happy Feet,” it’s also one of the continent’s most iconic. If global temperatures continue to rise, however, the Emperor penguins in Terre Adélie, in East Antarctica may eventually disappear, according to a new study by led by researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The study was published in the June 20th edition of the journal Global Change Biology.
A team of researchers, including scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), discovered a massive bloom of phytoplankton beneath ice-covered Arctic waters. Until now, sea ice was thought to block sunlight and limit the growth of microscopic marine plants living under the ice.
Studying algal cultures and seawater samples from the Southern Ocean off Antarctica, a team of researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the J. Craig Venter Institute have revealed a key cog in the biochemical machinery that allows marine algae at the base of the oceanic food chain to thrive. They have discovered a previously unknown protein in algae that grabs an essential but scarce nutrient out of seawater, vitamin B12.
Scientists have predicted that ocean temperatures will rise in the equatorial Pacific by the end of the century, wreaking havoc on coral reef ecosystems. But a new study by WHOI scientists shows that climate change could cause ocean currents to operate in a surprising way and mitigate the warming near a handful of islands right on the equator. As a result these Pacific islands may become isolated refuges for corals and fish.
For decades, scientists have known that dolphins and other toothed whales have specialized fats associated with their jaws, which efficiently convey sound waves from the ocean to their ears. But until now, the hearing systems of their toothless grazing cousins, baleen whales, remained a mystery, largely because specimens to study are hard to get. Now, a new study by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has shown that some baleen whales also have fats leading to their ears.
Six scientists from WHOI have contributed to a new report finding "compelling evidence" that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has impacted deep-sea coral communities in the Gulf of Mexico. The study utilized all the National Deep Submergence Facility vehicles to investigate the corals, and employed an advanced technique pioneered at WHOI for use in oil spill research.
Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), University of Hawaii, Whitman College and international colleagues will conduct the first systematic study of life in the deepest marine habitat on Earth—ocean trenches.
A WHOI-led project is one of several major awards recently announced by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Dimensions in Biodiversity research program. The multi-disciplinary, international collaborative effort will advance our understanding of deep-sea hydrothermal vent microbial communities and their global impact.
In a study published online in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a team that includes researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has confirmed that bubbles do form in live, stranded dolphins. But in many cases, those animals are able to “manage” those bubbles and can resume relatively normal lives of swimming and diving in the ocean.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists have discovered that bacterial communication could have a significant impact on the planet’s climate.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has signed a $1.18 million agreement with the Flatley Discovery Lab in Charlestown, Mass., to investigate and supply marine microbial extracts as possible treatments for cystic fibrosis (CF).
Scientists from WHOI and the Marine Biological Laboratory were awarded a $1.2 million NSF collaborative grant for studies on the role of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in salt marsh nitrogen and carbon cycling. The fieldwork will be conducted at the Plum Island Ecosystem Long-Term Ecological Research site on Boston's North Shore.
New evidence of sea-level oscillations during a warm period that started about 125,000 years ago raises the possibility of a similar scenario if the planet continues its more recent warming trend, says a research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
Changes in ocean chemistry due to increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are expected to damage shellfish populations around the world, but some nations will feel the impacts much sooner and more intensely than others, according to a study by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
In the first published study to explain the role of microbes in breaking down the oil slick on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers have come up with answers that represent both surprisingly good news and a head-scratching mystery.
A Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientist, analyzing ancient plankton DNA signatures in sediments of the Black Sea, has found for the first time that the same genetic populations of a virus and its algal host can persist and coexist for centuries. The findings have implications for the ecological significance of viruses in shaping algae ecosystems in the ocean, and perhaps fresh water as well.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers have filled an important gap in the study of tunicate evolution by genetically sequencing 40 new specimens of thaliaceans, a gelatinous type of tunicate. Their study was featured on the cover of the June issue of the Journal of Plankton Research.
The Census of Marine Life, a ten-year project to catalog all life in the sea, discovered more than 6,000 new species during its “decade of discovery,” scientists reported as they unveiled its results at a finale event in London Oct. 4-6. The collaboration combined the efforts of scientists from research organizations in more than 80 nations, including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
What if trains, planes, and automobiles all were powered simply by the air through which they move? Moreover, what if their exhaust and byproducts helped the environment? Well, such an energy-efficient, self-propelling mechanism already exists in nature. The salp, a smallish, barrel-shaped organism that resembles a kind of streamlined jellyfish, gets everything it needs from the ocean waters to feed and propel itself. And, scientists believe its waste material may actually help remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the upper ocean and the atmosphere.
The first expedition to search for deep-sea hydrothermal vents along the Mid-Cayman Rise has turned up three distinct types of hydrothermal venting, an interdisciplinary team led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) reports in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The work was conducted as part of a NASA-funded effort to search extreme environments for geologic, biologic, and chemical clues to the origins and evolution of life.
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