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Microbial Life


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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Mummified Microbes

Mummified Microbes

Scientists have found evidence that microbes can thrive deep below the seafloor—sustained by chemicals produced by reactions between seawater and…

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Endangered Whales Get a High-Tech Check-Up

Endangered Whales Get a High-Tech Check-Up

Drones seem to be everywhere these days, from backyards to battlegrounds. Scientists are using them too: in this case, to assess the health of endangered North Atlantic right whales. Since drones are small and quiet, they can fly close to whales without disturbing them, bringing back incredibly detailed photographs and samples of microbe-rich blow.

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Minerals Made by Microbes

Minerals Made by Microbes

Some minerals actually don’t form without a little help from microscopic organisms, using chemical processes that scientists are only beginning to reveal.

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A Mighty Mysterious Molecule

A Mighty Mysterious Molecule

What gives sea air its distinctive scent? A chemical compound called dimethylsulfide. In a new study, WHOI scientists show that the compound may also be used by marine microbes to communicate with one another.

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Recipes for Antibiotic Resistance

Recipes for Antibiotic Resistance

MIT-WHOI graduate student Megan May is investigating how microbes naturally develop resistance to antibiotic compounds in the marine environment and how human activities, including overuse of drugs and pollution, may be affecting the dynamic.

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Amy Apprill Featured in Science’s Video Series

Amy Apprill Featured in Science's Video Series

Amy Apprill, a microbiologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), is one of the extraordinary women scientists featured in Science Magazine’s online video series, “XX Files: Extraordinary Science, Extraordinary Women.” The eight-part series, which highlights diverse projects led by a group of impressive female scientists, began in early October. The video featuring Apprill’s work, “The Humpback Microbiome,” debuts on December 15 and is the last in the special series.

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