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News Releases


Making Sure the Wonder Materials Don’t Become the Wonder Pollutant

Carbon nanotubes are 10,000 times thinner than a human hair, yet stronger than steel and more durable than diamonds. They conduct heat and electricity with efficiency that rivals copper wires and silicon chips, with possible uses in everything from concrete and clothes to bicycle parts and electronics. They have been hailed as the next “wonder…

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Scientists Prepare for a Risky Mission Under the Arctic Ice

Bone-chilling temperatures, biting winds, and rapidly changing sea ice conditions make the Chukchi Sea off Point Barrow, Alaska, a particularly challenging place to work. And then there are the curious neighbors – towering polar bears that periodically stop by camp unannounced. These are just a few of the challenges researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic…

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Hal Caswell Receives First Per Brinck Oikos Award

Hal Caswell

The Per Brinck Foundation has selected biologist Hal Caswell of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), as the first recipient of the Per Brinck Oikos Award, which recognizes extraordinary and important contributions to the science of ecology.

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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

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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…

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

Stan

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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WHOI Scientists Offering Timely Global Change Talks at Science Meeting

Three senior scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will offer cautionary looks at the past and future of global climate change at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston. Lloyd Keigwin, a geologist who specializes in the ocean’s role in past climate changes, will discuss…

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Should Every Stranded Dolphin or Seal Be Saved?

A sick or injured seal or dolphin is found stranded on a beach. Should limited marine mammal protection funds be spent to rehabilitate the animal, or would they be better used to increase public education, law enforcement, or research activities? Six marine mammal specialists—spanning the research, conservation, veterinary, education, and stranding network communities—have taken on…

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Polar Bear Population Likely to Become Extinct

Within the month, the U.S. government must decide whether to list the polar bear as an endangered species. The question is: will such a declaration be too late because of climate change? A 2007 study by biologists, including Hal Caswell of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), concludes that the declining habitat of the bears—namely,…

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Trawling Leaves Lasting Scars on Deep Ocean Coral Habitat

More than a decade after fishing stopped near the Corner Rise Seamounts in the North Atlantic, researchers have found that the seafloor still has patches that are almost completely devoid of life. During an expedition to study deep-sea corals, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) biologist Rhian Waller and colleagues found that several coral communities were…

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Magazine Recognizes WHOI-Led Global Change Research

In selecting its “100 Top Science Stories of 2007,” the editors of Discover magazine recognized WHOI marine chemist Scott Doney and his colleagues for research on the effect of acid rain in coastal waters. The paper “Impact of anthropogenic atmospheric nitrogen and sulfur deposition on ocean acidification and the inorganic carbon system”—published in the Proceedings…

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Robotic Tag-Team is Headed for the Seafloor

In the summer of 2007, engineers from WHOI’s Deep Submergence Laboratory proved they could operate an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) beneath Arctic ice. Six months later, the team will now attempt to operate two AUVs simultaneously in deep ocean waters. The first-of-its-kind engineering trial will be the highlight of WHOI’s next Dive and Discover online…

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Walking in a Real Winter Wonderland

Penguins sing, are you listening? Lava flows, snow is glistening. Through the use of the Web and satellite technology, researchers and communicators from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are bringing the sights, sounds, and smells of the season that is, the summer season in Antarctica to students and museum-goers across America. In the third installment of…

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Researchers Compile Most Detailed Map of an Underwater Eruption

Examining more than 50,000 seafloor images, geologists have created the most detailed map ever assembled for a volcanic eruption along a fast-spreading mid-ocean ridge. Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, University of Florida, and University of Hawaii mapped where fresh new lava had paved over sediment-covered seafloor, while also identifying eruptive fissures and channels…

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Comparing the San Francisco Oil Spill with East Coast Analogs

In the wake of the November 7 spill of 58,000 gallons of fuel oil into San Francisco Bay, environmental chemist Chris Reddy of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has collected and analyzed oil samples to help assess the long-term impact on the environment. With support from WHOI’s Coastal Ocean Institute and the environmental group…

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