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Microbial Life


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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Climate Change Will Irreversibly Force Key Ocean Bacteria into Overdrive

A new study from University of Southern California and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) shows that changing conditions due to climate change could send Tricho into overdrive with no way to stop – reproducing faster and generating lots more nitrogen. Without the ability to slow down, however, Tricho has the potential to gobble up all its available resources, which could trigger die-offs of the microorganism and the higher organisms that depend on it.

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A Telescope to Peer into the Vast Ocean

A Telescope to Peer into the Vast Ocean

There are more single-celled plankton in the ocean than stars in the universe. A new instrument is about to depart on a mission across the vast Pacific to capture images of what is out there.

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Bringing a Lab to the Seafloor

Bringing a Lab to the Seafloor

Scientists can’t really know if new oceanographic instruments will really work until they try them in actual conditions in the real ocean. In this case, the rubber hit the road at the bottom of the sea.

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