Microbial Life


Microbial Life

Microbial life can be found throughout the ocean, from rocks and sediments beneath the seafloor, across the vast stretches of open water, to intertidal and surf zones.

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Plankton, By Any Other Name

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Scientists usually divide plankton into three groups that align with major divisions of life. The plant-like organisms are phytoplankton (from…

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Junk Food

Junk Food

An estimated eight million tons of plastics enter our oceans each year, yet only one percent can be seen floating…

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The Unseen World on Coral Reefs

The Unseen World on Coral Reefs

We have learned that microbial communities on and within us—a microbiome—keep people healthy. Corals reefs also have their own microbiomes that they couldn’t function without.

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The Recipe for a Harmful Algal Bloom

The Recipe for a Harmful Algal Bloom

Harmful algal blooms can produce toxins that accumulate in shellfish and cause health problems and economic losses. They have increased in strength and frequency worldwide. Can we get advance warnings of when and where they will occur?

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Monitoring Bacteria on Whale Skin

Monitoring Bacteria on Whale Skin

Just like with humans, the skin on marine mammals serves as an important line of defense against pathogens in their environment. A new study sheds light on the skin microbiome – ”a group of microorganisms that live on skin – ”in healthy humpback whales, which could aid in future efforts to monitor their health.

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In the Gardens of the Queen

In the Gardens of the Queen

An unprecedented research cruise investigated one of the most beautiful and unexplored coral reefs in the Caribbean and fostered collaboration between U.S. and Cuban scientists.

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Life Without Guts

The Atlantic

Piece and accompanying video highlights the Alvin sub and the discovery of hydrothermal vent life

Study Identifies Whale Blow Microbiome

Study Identifies Whale Blow Microbiome

A new study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and colleagues identified for the first time an extensive conserved group of bacteria within healthy humpback whales’ blow’”the moist breath that whales spray out of their blowholes when they exhale.

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The Amazing Acquired Phototroph!

The Amazing Acquired Phototroph!

There are autotrophs, such as plants, that can make their own food. There are heterotrophs, such as animals, that consume other organisms. And then there are curious organisms called mixotrophs, which can do both, switching how they get food depending on the conditions in their environment.

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What Happened to Deepwater Horizon Oil?

What Happened to Deepwater Horizon Oil?

Officials pumped a huge amount of chemicals into the deep ocean during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in an effort to disperse the oil. A study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offers evidence that the dispersant may helped microbes break down the oil.

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Study Reveals Corals’ Influence on Reef Microbes

Study Reveals Corals' Influence on Reef Microbes

As they grow, corals are bathed in a sea of marine microbes, such as bacteria, algae, and viruses. While these extremely abundant and tiny microorganisms influence coral communities in a variety of ways, a new study by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) and University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) reveals that corals also have an impact on the microbes in waters surrounding them

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