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anemone Nematostella vectensis

Elegant Anemone

The half-inch-long starlet anemone, Nematostella vectensis, is a relative of reef-building corals. It lives in salt marshes along the east coast from Canada to Georgia, is easy to grow in the lab, and scientists have decoded all of its genes. Biologist Ann Tarrant and her colleagues, who study how animals respond to pollutants and other environmental stressors, are investigating what genes Nematostella activates to detoxify contaminants such as oil and dispersants from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This picture is featured in the 2013 WHOI wall calendar, which is available from the Exhibit Center in Woods Hole. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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