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dinobryon bloom under ice

Blooming Under Ice

This delicate fan-shaped colony of a golden-colored algae called Dinobryon was found in a surprising place—beneath sea ice in the Chukchi Sea. Scientists had assumed ice blocked sunlight that microscopic marine plants like Dinobryon need to grow, so they were amazed to discover a massive bloom of phytoplankton thriving beneath the ice on an expedition in 2012. WHOI biologist Sam Laney captured images of under-ice phytoplankton (see slideshow) with the Imaging FlowCytobot, an automated microscopic imaging system invented at WHOI and specially adapted for use on icebreakers. Because of Dinobryon’s three-dimensional structure, some cells are in focus, while others are not. (Courtesy of Sam Laney, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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