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vent sampler

High-pressure Sip

The manipulator arm of the remotely operated vehicle Jason positions an Isobaric Gas-Tight sampler (IGT) to collect bacteria-rich fluids flowing from a hydrothermal vent site in the Pacific Ocean. IGT samplers, invented by WHOI scientists and engineers, maintain samples at the pressure of the deep sea when they are brought to the surface. Vents have thriving communities of tubeworms, clams, and bacteria, such as Epsilonproteobacteria, the target of graduate student Jesse McNichol's research. The bacteria flourish with little or no oxygen and offer clues to how early organisms first carved out an existence on Earth. (Photo courtesy of Stefan Sievert, WHOI/NSF/ROVJason, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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