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Microbial Life


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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Lush Life, Deep Down

Lush Life, Deep Down

Scientists find an active ecosystem of bacteria, archaea, and fungi in the sediments far beneath the sea floor.

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What Doomed the Stromatolites?

What Doomed the Stromatolites?

About a billion years before the dinosaurs became extinct, stromatolites roamed the Earth until they mysteriously disappeared. Well, not roamed…

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An Oddity about Lyme Disease Bacteria

An Oddity about Lyme Disease Bacteria

The bacterial species that causes Lyme disease avoids a key human defense by not requiring iron. For a WHOI microbial chemist, that raised a big question: What does it use instead of iron?

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Mining Marine Microbes for New Drugs

Mining Marine Microbes for New Drugs

The ocean is a combat zone where marine microbes are constantly making chemical compounds to kill competitors or protect themselves. Could some of those compounds lead to pharmaceuticals that could help people?

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The Harshest Habitats on Earth

The Harshest Habitats on Earth

With help from ROV Jason and a new, high-tech sampling instrument, scientists discover that even in a hyper-saline realm, with no light and no oxygen, under crushing pressure, life still finds a way.

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An Ocean Instrument Is Born

An Ocean Instrument Is Born

Every new ocean instrument goes through growing pains. But the Submersible Incubation Device, nicknamed SID, has been a particularly long…

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