Skip to content
For WHOI personnel and vendors: COVID-19 Guidelines

Seafloor & Below


Ancient atmospheric oxygen sleuthing with ocean chromium

Phys.org

Currently, geoscientists and paleoceanographers from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are looking to add another use to that list: as a way to examine chemical shifts in ancient Earth’s oceans and atmosphere that are preserved in the seafloor’s paleorecord.

Finding answers in the ocean

The test being used to diagnose the novel coronavirus—and other pandemics like AIDS and SARS—was developed with the help of an enzyme isolated from a microbe found in marine hydrothermal vents as well as freshwater hot springs.

Read More

Move Over, Mars: The Search for Life on Saturn’s Largest Moon

Nautilus
nautilus logo

“The great thing about hydrothermal vents is that they provide a lot of energy sources for microbial life that doesn’t include sunlight,” says Julie Huber, a marine chemist at WHOI. Organisms living at hydrothermal vents on Earth’s seafloors, she explains, “can use chemical energy, so that means things like sulphur, iron, hydrogen and methane and they create a base of the food chain.”

Move Over, Mars: The Search for Life on Saturn’s Largest Moon

Nautilus

Alien microbes could be flourishing in the underground seas of Titan and the solar system’s other ocean worlds. “The great thing about hydrothermal vents is that they provide a lot of energy sources for microbial life that doesn’t include sunlight,” says Julie Huber, a marine chemist at WHOI.