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Clinging jellyfish

Tracking Toxic Invaders

Clinging jellyfish such as this from the coastal ocean near Vladivostok, Russia, are known for toxic stings that cause a wide range of symptoms—severe pain, difficulty breathing, and even hallucinations. But in recent years, clinging jellies with stings that cause similar symptoms suddenly started being reported off Cape Cod and in nearby regions. WHOI biologist Annette Govindarajan is using genetic analyses to try to trace the geographic origins of the clinging jellies and draw a connection between their genetics and their toxic stings. (Photo courtesy of Lubov Petrova, Primorsky Aquarium)

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