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News Releases

Butterflyfish May Face Extinction

A beautiful black, white and yellow butterflyfish, much admired by eco-tourists, divers and aquarium keepers alike, may be at risk of extinction, scientists have warned.

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Researchers Give New Hybrid Vehicle Its First Test-Drive in the Ocean

Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Webb Research Corporation (Falmouth, Mass.) have successfully flown the first environmentally powered robotic vehicle through the ocean. The new robotic ?glider? harvests heat energy from the ocean to propel itself across thousands of kilometers of water.

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Dennis McGillicuddy Receives 27th Annual Rosenstiel Award


The University of Miami?s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science has selected Dennis J. McGillicuddy, Jr., Ph.D., as recipient of the 2008 Rosenstiel Award. McGillicuddy, a senior scientist in the Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering at WHOI is a pioneer in the study of physical-biological interactions in the ocean.

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Lost City pumps life-essential chemicals at rates unseen at typical black smokers

Hydrocarbons?molecules critical to life?are routinely generated by the simple interaction of seawater with the rocks under the Lost City hydrothermal vent field in the Atlantic Ocean. The production of such building blocks of life makes Lost City-like vents strong contenders as places where life might have originated on Earth, according to research led by the University of Washington and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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WHOI Geochemist Awarded for Contributions to Studies of the Physics of the Earth


The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has selected Stanley Hart of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as the 13th recipient of the Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship. Hart, a scientist emeritus in the WHOI Department of Geology and Geophysics, was recognized for making lasting contributions to the study of the physics of the Earth.

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Earth’s Moving Crust May Occasionally Stop

The motion, formation, and recycling of Earth?s crust?commonly known as the theory of plate tectonics?have long been thought to be continuous processes. But new research by geophysicists suggests that plate tectonic motions have occasionally stopped in Earth?s geologic history, and may do so again.

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Fleet of Ocean Observers Grows to 3,000 Strong

On November 1, researchers from WHOI, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the University of Washington?as well as collaborators from 22 other nations?will celebrate the deployment of the 3,000th operational float and the completion of the Argo armada.

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CSI Deep Water: Finding Invisible Clues to Ancient Greek Culture

Like forensic investigators hunting for strands of DNA at a crime scene, Maria Hansson and Brendan Foley have found a way to detect archaeological clues that are invisible to the naked eye. Hansson and Foley have developed a genetic technique to determine the original contents of amphoras, the ceramic vessels often used for transporting and storing goods in the ancient world.

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Extinction of Neanderthals Was Not a Climate Disaster Scenario

For the past few decades, scientists have offered several competing theories for what led to the extinction of the Neanderthals, with much of the debate focusing on the relative roles of climate change versus conflict with modern humans. Now one theory can be ruled out. New research by a multidisciplinary, international team?including paleoclimatologist Konrad Hughen of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution?shows that Neanderthals did not die out at a time of extreme and sudden climatic change, as some researchers have suggested.

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