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Latest Marine Biological Laboratory Stories

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2011-02-15 07:29:06

Like people in cities, microbes often live in complex communities that contain many different microbial types. Also like us, microbes tend to gravitate to and "hang out" with certain other types in their community, more than with the rest. And sometimes, when opportunities arise, they move to more favorable locations. But until recently, scientists have not been able to look at a microbial community and distinguish the spatial relationship of more than 2 or 3 kinds of microbes at once. Now, a...

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2011-02-11 08:10:00

Researchers believe the findings represent the first detailed evidence of an aggression-inducing contact pheromone in any aquatic animal When male squid come into contact with a chemical found on the outside of eggs laid by females, they instantly go from swimming along calmly and minding their own business to a state of extreme aggression, according to a new report published online on February 10 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication. After just a touch of an egg, males will often...

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2011-02-03 14:05:00

Scientists have mapped the genome of the waterflea, revealing the most gene-packed animal characterized to date. The information deciphered of the tiny crustacean could help researchers develop and conduct real-time monitoring systems of the effects of environmental remediation efforts. The waterflea, or the Daphnia pulex, is considered a keystone species in freshwater ecosystems and is roughly the size of an equal sign on a keyboard.  The Daphnia pulex is the first crustacean to have...

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2010-07-28 12:37:49

Brown-MBL study estimates future greenhouse gas emissions from Brazilian Amazon state In some cases, it can be difficult for scientists to see the deforestation for the trees. Not so for Gillian Galford, a recent graduate of the Brown-MBL Graduate Program in Biological and Environmental Sciences (and now a post-doctoral fellow at Columbia University's Earth Institute) and her colleagues, who take a big-picture approach to greenhouse gas emissions. In a study published in Proceedings of the...

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2010-07-23 10:35:25

When searching for long-lost treasure, sometimes all you need is a good flashlight. Such a "flashlight," developed at the Marine Biological Laboratory's (MBL) Josephine Bay Paul Center, has been used to illuminate a long-neglected cellular component "“ the nucleolinus "“ and confirm its role in cell division. MBL scientists Mark Alliegro and Mary Anne Alliegro, and MBL visiting investigator Jonathan Henry of University of Illinois, Urbana, present their discoveries regarding the...

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2010-06-18 07:45:47

Cost-effective approach could help predict climate change impacts for all marine ecosystems In a report published in this week's issue of Science, a team of oceanographers, including MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) Ecosystems Center director Hugh Ducklow, outline a polar ocean observation strategy they say will revolutionize scientists' understanding of marine ecosystem response to climate change. The approach, which calls for the use of a suite of automated technologies that complement...

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2010-03-04 08:10:00

Remarkable Strategy Evolved to Avoid Predators On the open sand plains of the Caribbean seafloor, where soft-bodied animals are routinely exposed to predators, camouflage can be key to survival. Perhaps no group of animals is quite as adept at blending in with its surroundings as cephalopods, who along with relatives the cuttlefish and squid, have evolved a unique skin system that can instantaneously change their appearance. In the February 2010 issue of The Biological Bulletin, MBL Senior...

2010-02-09 08:19:44

The phrase "perk up your ears" made more sense last year after scientists discovered how the quietest sounds are amplified in the cochlea before being transmitted to the brain. When a sound is barely audible, extremely sensitive inner-ear "hair cells""”which are neurons equipped with tiny, sensory hairs on their surface"”pump up the sound by their very motion and mechanically amplify it. Richard Rabbitt of the University of Utah, a faculty member in the MBL's Biology of the Inner...

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2010-01-30 08:29:36

Caltech biologist David Anderson and his colleagues identify a brain chemical involved in promoting aggression in flies Recently, biologist David Anderson set out to learn whether flies, like bees, can get angry--part of a broader effort to study how animal behavior relates to genetics. "Every time you swat a fly away from your hamburger, it seems to come back to the food more aggressively or persistently," Anderson said. "People might wonder about whether there's such a thing as an 'angry'...

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2010-01-12 08:16:26

On the marine microbial stage, there appears to be a vast, varied group of understudies only too ready to step in when "star" microbes falter. At least that's what happens at the Lost City hydrothermal vent field, according to work led by the University of Washington and published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The Lost City hydrothermal vent field in the mid-Atlantic Ocean is the only one of its kind found thus far. It offers scientists access to...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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