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Rebecca Gast

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The Bacteria on Your Beaches

The Bacteria on Your Beaches

The widespread use of antibiotics is increasing the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria—perhaps into the ocean, too.

Recipes for Antibiotic Resistance

Recipes for Antibiotic Resistance

MIT-WHOI graduate student Megan May is investigating how microbes naturally develop resistance to antibiotic compounds in the marine environment and how human activities, including overuse of drugs and pollution, may be affecting the dynamic.

Sand, Seals, and Solitude

Sand, Seals, and Solitude

In high school, students interested in art or science often diverge into separate fields. For several years now, an art teacher and scientist in Falmouth, Mass., have seeded a modest cross-pollination project. This year it…

The Return of the Seals

The Return of the Seals

WHOI biologist Rebecca Gast examines whether the recovered and thriving population of gray seals in Cape Cod waters has affected water quality off the beaches they frequent.

Shifting Sands and Bacteria on the Beach

Shifting Sands and Bacteria on the Beach

Most coastal communities in the United States test the water at beaches for the presence of bacteria. But they don’t routinely test the sand. Does sand also harbor bacteria? Until recently, few people have worried…

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…

Sea Life Is Accumulating Pathogens

Sea Life Is Accumulating Pathogens

An unprecedented survey of seabirds, marine mammals, and sharks on the U.S. East Coast has revealed that marine wildlife contains a wide variety of disease-causing microbes—including many that have developed resistance to antibiotics and several…

Morss Colloquia Focus on Science and Society

Morss Colloquia Focus on Science and Society

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution launched a new program, hosting three “Morss Colloquia” since October 2006. Enabled by a generous grant from Elisabeth and Henry Morss Jr., the public colloquia concerned “issues of global importance that…

Forecast: Hotter East Coast Summers ...

Forecast: Hotter East Coast Summers …

Legions of Legionella Bacteria

Legions of Legionella Bacteria

Salty ocean water can be a nuisance. It’s undrinkable and it corrodes nearly everything it touches. But salt water’s inhospitality has always had one benefit: The salt kills microbes, making the ocean a fairly antiseptic…