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Joan Bernhard

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Can Animals Live Without Oxygen?

Can Animals Live Without Oxygen?

In 2010, a research team garnered headlines when it published evidence of finding the first animals living in oxygen-free conditions at the bottom of the sea. But a new study led by Woods Hole Oceanographic…

What Doomed the Stromatolites?

What Doomed the Stromatolites?

About a billion years before the dinosaurs became extinct, stromatolites roamed the Earth until they mysteriously disappeared. Well, not roamed exactly. Stromatolites (“layered rocks”) are rocky structures made by photosynthetic cyanobacteria. The microbes secrete sticky…

The Harshest Habitats on Earth

The Harshest Habitats on Earth

With help from ROV Jason and a new, high-tech sampling instrument, scientists discover that even in a hyper-saline realm, with no light and no oxygen, under crushing pressure, life still finds a way.

Internship Pairs Scientists and Students

Internship Pairs Scientists and Students

Falmouth Academy has established an internship program with scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The program requires students in grades 9 to 12 to apply to their chemistry, physics or biology teacher for the…

Should We Inject Carbon Dioxide into the Deep Ocean?

Should We Inject Carbon Dioxide into the Deep Ocean?

One proposed strategy to offset rising levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere is to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil-fuel-burning power plants and pump them into the ocean depths. Under the pressure of…

The Hunt for Microbial 'Trojan Horses'

The Hunt for Microbial ‘Trojan Horses’

In summer, Wood Neck Beach in Woods Hole, Mass., teems with tourists, but only a few seagulls kept Matt First company as he walked through the brown-gold marsh grass last November. Armed with a small…

Cell-sized Thermometers

Cell-sized Thermometers

Climate shifts are a repeating feature in Earth’s history, but humans have added so much greenhouse gas (especially carbon dioxide) to the atmosphere that climate is warming in our lifetimes. We know that past climate…

On the Trail of Microbes that Cause Seafood Poisoning...

On the Trail of Microbes that Cause Seafood Poisoning…