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Images: For Graduate Student, Research Is a Gas

MIT/WHOI graduate student Naomi Levine is investigating dimethylsulfide, or DMS, a naturally produced gas that influences Earth’s climate. She is studying how marine bacteria break down a larger compound (dimethylsulfoniopropionate, or DMSP) into DMS. Above, she extracts RNA from seawater samples to look for genes that code for the bacterial enzymes that degrade DMSP. (Photo by Aimee Neeley, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences)

Aboard a ship in the Sargasso Sea, Levine measures how much DMS is produced in a sample, which allows her to determine how much bacterial DMS-producing enzymes are in the sample. (Photo by Aimee Neeley, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences)

Levine collects seawater from a sampling device, which she will analyze to look for bacterial enzymes that degrade DMSP into DMS in the ocean. (Photo by Aimee Neeley, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences)

Are these some of those penguins that Naomi Levine didn't get to see on her long research cruise to the Southern Ocean off Antarctica? (Photo by Michael Trapp)