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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 10:27 EDT

Latest Marine Biological Laboratory Stories

Scientists Discover Bending Rules For Animal Wing, Fin Tips
2014-02-18 14:58:33

Marine Biological Laboratory A Navy-sponsored project to design a biologically inspired, swimming jellyfish robot has led scientists to the surprising discovery of common bending rules for the tips of wings, fins, flukes, mollusk feet, and other propulsors across a broad range of animal species. The study, led by John H. Costello of Providence College and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, where he is a visiting scientist, is published this week in Nature...

Photos And Lab Analysis Needed For Leaf Study
2014-01-23 15:27:34

Brown University Automated remote photography is a convenient, labor-saving research tool for tracking leaf function and doing forest research. But does photography mirror what's actually happening on the ground? A new study finds photography accurately tracks the timing of red pigments in the fall, but the timing of green in the spring and summer — not so much. Every picture tells a story, but the story digital photos tell about how forests respond to climate change could be...

Different Sponge Species Have Highly Specific And Stable Microbiomes
2014-01-22 11:05:56

Marine Biological Laboratory The sea sponge is about as simple as an animal can get, but its associated bacterial community—its microbiome —is known to approach the complexity of the diverse microbiome in the human gut. Now, scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) have shown that different species of Hexadella sponges each have a highly specific and stable microbiome, not only in terms of the most abundant members of the associated microbial community, but the rare...

Blind Cavefish Offer Evidence For Long-debated Mechanism Of Evolutionary Change
2013-12-13 11:16:07

Marine Biological Laboratory In a blind fish that dwells in deep, dark Mexican caves, scientists have found evidence for a long-debated mechanism of evolutionary change that is distinct from natural selection of spontaneously arising mutations, as reported this week in the journal Science. The eyeless cavefish Astyanas mexicanus is "a special system in which we can look at evolution in action," says article co-author William Jeffery, a senior adjunct scientist at the Marine Biological...

How Plants In Arid Lands Gain Nutrients To Survive
2013-11-06 11:48:07

Marine Biological Laboratory The vast sagebrush landscapes of the western United States are one of the largest ecosystems in North America.  Long, cold winters and hot, dry summers characterize these cold desert ecosystems and create bone-dry soils during seasonal droughts. New research published this week from MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) senior scientist Zoe Cardon, John Stark (Utah State University), and their two former students, sheds light on how desert plants gain nutrients...

Thriving Colonies Of Microbes Discovered In Ocean 'Plastisphere'
2013-06-27 15:28:13

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Scientists have discovered a diverse multitude of microbes colonizing and thriving on flecks of plastic that have polluted the oceans--a vast new human-made flotilla of microbial communities that they have dubbed the "plastisphere." In a study recently published online in Environmental Science & Technology, the scientists say the plastisphere represents a novel ecological habitat in the ocean and raises a host of questions: How will it change...

2013-06-27 12:45:55

A new study helps explain how parts of the brain maintain their delicate balance of zinc, an element required in minute but crucial doses, particularly during embryonic development. The study, led at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) by Mark Messerli in collaboration with scientists from the University of California, Davis, shows that neural cells require zinc uptake through a membrane transporter referred to as ZIP12.. If that route is closed, neuronal sprouting and growth are...

Study Finds Deep, Permeable Soils Buffer Impacts Of Agricultural Fertilization On Streams And Rivers In Southern Amazon
2013-04-24 14:36:32

Marine Biological Laboratory The often damaging impacts of intensive agriculture on nearby streams, rivers, and their wildlife has been well documented in temperate zones, such as North America and Europe. Yet a new study in an important tropical zone–the fast-changing southern Amazon, a region marked by widespread replacement of native forest by cattle ranches and more recently croplands–suggests that at least some of those damaging impacts may be buffered by the very deep...

Genes Linked To Human Neurological Disorders Found In Sea Lamprey Genome
2013-02-26 09:43:10

Marine Biological Laboratory [ Watch The Video Spinal Cord Regerenation In Sea Lamprey ] Discovery will accelerate research on Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injury Scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) have identified several genes linked to human neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injury, in the sea lamprey, a vertebrate fish whose whole-genome sequence is reported this week in the...

Map Of Bacterial Makeup Of Humans Reveals Microbial Rare Biosphere
2012-06-13 19:43:22

NIH Human Microbiome Project finds patterns of microbial diversity, distributions earlier discovered in ocean ecosystems by scientists at MBL Woods Hole The landmark publication this week of a "map" of the bacterial make-up of healthy humans has deep roots in an unexpected place: the ocean. Microbial communities that live on and in the human body, known collectively as the microbiome, are thought to have a critical role in human health and disease. Five years ago, the National...