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Whale breath sample

Finding Life in Whale Breath

The 96-well micro-titre plate is a standard piece of laboratory equipment used to hold small amounts of liquid samples for testing. This particular plate was put to a decidedly non-standard use when researchers attached it to a small aerial drone and flew it over the water to obtain a breath sample from a blue whale. The visible droplets are condensed breath vapor that researchers including WHOI biologist Michael Moore, research specialist Alessandro Bocconcelli, and others analyzed to determine the composition of microbial communities living in the whale's respiratory tract. (Photo by Michael Moore, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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