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Six if by Air

WHOI microbiologist Amy Apprill traveled to Chile with a multi-institutional team recently to study blue whales that gather off the coast of Patagonia each year. Among the equipment they took to the field was a six-rotor, remote-controlled hexacopter on the table to Apprill's right that they used to collect samples from the whale spout. The collection plate she is working with was attached to the top of the drone while a pilot maneuvered it into an exhaled cloud of vapor. Apprill and WHOI's Michael Moore and Carolyn Miller are using this technique and others to better understand the diversity of microbes that live on and in whales and how they may contribute to their health. (Photo courtesy of Daniel Casado, DC Photo)


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