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Latest Diatom Stories

Pacific Carbon Pump Speeds Up In Summer
2012-02-09 04:44:07

An international team of scientists led by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa oceanographer David Karl has documented a regular, significant and unexpected increase in the amount of particulate matter exported to the deep sea in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. They suspect the previously undocumented phenomenon may be a response to day length, a general phenomenon known as photoperiodism. Measuring the biological carbon pump Using 13 years of...

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2011-05-13 03:20:56

Cycle enables marine phytoplankton to use carbon and nitrogen from their environment Scientists have discovered that marine diatoms, tiny phytoplankton abundant in the sea, have an animal-like urea cycle, and that this cycle enables the diatoms to efficiently use carbon and nitrogen from their environment. The researchers, from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) and other institutions, published their findings in this week's issue of the journal Nature. The team, led by lead author Andrew...

2011-05-12 00:06:42

The urea cycle is a metabolic pathway used in mammals to incorporate excess nitrogen into urea and remove it from the body. However, it appears to play a far more wide-ranging role in the group of algae known as diatoms. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam are part of an international team of researchers that has succeeded in identifying the urea cycle in diatoms as a distribution and recycling centre for inorganic carbon and nitrogen. The urea...

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2011-04-14 13:15:00

The ongoing spread of non-native mussels in the Great Lakes has caused "massive, ecosystem-wide changes" throughout lakes Michigan and Huron, two of the planet's largest freshwater lakes, according to a new University of Michigan-led study. The blitzkrieg advance of two closely related species of mussels"”the zebra and quagga"”is stripping the lakes of their life-supporting algae, resulting in a remarkable ecological transformation and threatening the multibillion-dollar U.S....

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2011-04-07 08:40:58

Biologically diverse streams are better at cleaning up pollutants than less rich waterways, and a University of Michigan ecologist says he has uncovered the long-sought mechanism that explains why this is so. Bradley Cardinale used 150 miniature model streams, which use recirculating water in flumes to mimic the variety of flow conditions found in natural streams. He grew between one and eight species of algae in each of the mini-streams, then measured each algae community's ability to soak...

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2011-01-21 11:46:44

A team of biologists has discovered an entirely new group of algae living in a wide variety of marine and freshwater environments. This group of algae, which the researchers dubbed "rappemonads," have DNA that is distinctly different from that of other known algae. In fact, humans and mushrooms are more closely related to each other than rappemonads are to some other common algae (such as green algae). Based on their DNA analysis, the researchers believe that they have discovered not just a...

2010-12-17 17:22:24

Rapid turnover and remodelling of lipid membranes could help phytoplankton cope with nutrient scarcity in the open ocean. A team led by Patrick Martin of the National Oceanography Centre has shown that a species of planktonic marine alga can rapidly change the chemical composition of its cell membranes in response to changes in nutrient supply. The findings indicate that the process may be important for nutrient cycling and the population dynamics of phytoplankton in the open ocean. Tiny...

2010-11-09 11:31:04

A team of marine scientists has found that toxin-producing algae once thought to be limited to coastal waters are also common in the open ocean, where the addition of iron from natural or artificial sources can stimulate rapid growth of the harmful algae. The new findings, reported this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, add to concerns about proposals to use iron fertilization of the oceans as a way to combat global warming. Blooms of diatoms in the genus...

2010-05-04 14:50:05

Researchers in India have demonstrated that microscopic aquatic creatures could be used as the ecological equivalent of a canary in a coalmine for assessing inland freshwater lakes and ponds. Writing in the World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development the team explains how diatoms respond badly to pollutants and sewage contamination. Bijaya Kumar Padhi, Jnanendra Rath, and Pratap Kumar Padhy of the Visva-Bharati University, in Santiniketan, India, have looked at the...

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2010-02-20 08:45:00

A new paper by researchers at George Mason University and the University of Otago in New Zealand shows a strong link between the diversity of organisms at the bottom of the food chain and the diversity of mammals at the top. Mark D. Uhen, a geologist at Mason, says that throughout the last 30 million years, changes in the diversity of whale species living at any given time period correlates with the evolution and diversification of diatoms, tiny, abundant algae that live in the ocean. In the...


Word of the Day
bibliopole
  • A bookseller; now, especially, a dealer in rare and curious books.
This word comes from a Greek phrase meaning 'book seller.'
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