November 30, 2015

How Does a Highly Efficient Swimmer Move? Jellyfish, Lamprey Study Reveals Surprising Forces At Play

Snapshot of a lamprey (black outline) swimming in a water tank at the MBL. Colors indicate low-pressure suction forces (blue) and high-pressure pushing forces (red) generated by the animal as it swims. Black lines and arrows indicate water flow directions around the animal. Credit: John O. Dabiri

Contacts: Tom Abate, Stanford Engineering; 650-736-2245 Diana Kenney, Marine Biological Laboratory; 508-289-7139 STANFORD, Calif. and WOODS HOLE, Mass. − Millions of years ago, even before plate tectonics had nudged the continents into their current locations, jellyfish were already moving through the oceans using the same pulsing motions we observe today. Now through clever […]

Scientists Call for Unified Initiative to Advance Microbiome Research

Bacteria from the human mouth. Credit: Jessica Mark Welch

A group of leading scientists representing a wide range of disciplines has formed a unified initiative to support basic research, technological development, and commercial applications to better understand and thoughtfully harness capabilities of Earth’s vast systems of microorganisms. In a Science article published Oct. 30, 2015, 17 U.S. scientists–including microbiologists, physicists, chemists and physicians–will announce the creation […]

MBL Scientist Receives Career Development Award to Study Aging Processes

Web female Brachionus manjavacas  rotifer with egg by Kristin Gribble

Kristin Gribble, an assistant research scientist at the MBL, has received a highly competitive, 5-year Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. Gribble is studying the rotifer, a microscopic aquatic zooplankton, to explore the evolution and genomics of aging processes. Her work has been important in establishing the rotifer as […]

UChicago Lab School Students “Get Their Hands in the Water” at MBL

UChicago Lab School students Whitney Thomas and Delnaz Patel observe plankton from the plankton tow, one of their many encounters with microorganisms during their MBL trip. Credit: Beth Simmons

By Rachel Buhler Taking a break in a lounge in Loeb Laboratory, the two high-school science teachers looked sunburned, tired, but very happy. Daniel Calleri and Sharon Housinger of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools had spent the prior day with 12 of their students on Naushon Island, off the coast of Woods Hole. Nets […]

Marine Animal Colony is a Multi-Jet Swimming Machine, Scientists Report

The colonial, jellyfish-like species Nanomia bijuga. The colony’s propulsive unit or nectosome (the transparent segment at right) tows its reproduction and feeding units over distances that can reach 200 meters a day. The oval structure at the tip of the nectosome is the pneumatophore, which serves as a float. Credit: John H. Costello

Contact: Diana Kenney, Marine Biological Laboratory 508-289-7139; WOODS HOLE, MASS.—Marine animals that swim by jet propulsion, such as squid and jellyfish, are not uncommon. But it’s rare to find a colony of animals that coordinates multiple jets for whole-group locomotion. This week in Nature Communications, scientists report on a colonial jellyfish-like species, Nanomia bijuga, […]

Now Entering Another Dimension: Welcome to Arctic Field Science


Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Werner and science and nature writer Meera Subramanian recently spent eight light-filled days and nights with MBL ecologists at Toolik Field Station in Arctic Alaska. Werner, whose soaring video impression of the remote ecological field site is above, says the experience was like entering another time dimension (read more from Werner […]

How the Lancelet Sees: MBL Study Suggests Visual Systems of Vertebrates and Invertebrates Aren’t So Divergent After All

“Escaping Flatland” Workshop to Probe 3-D Imaging of Biological Architecture and Events (Aug. 7-8 at MBL)

Deep Horizons: Discovering Life Below the Seafloor

Symposium to Honor NIH’s Tom Reese: Discoverer, Collaborator, and MBL Neurobiology Course Mentor


By Diana Kenney “What’s that?” a student in the MBL Neurobiology course asked Tom Reese of the National Institutes of Health last week, as they looked at a black-and-white image of brain structure with an electron microscope. “It’s a blood vessel,” Reese said, and then guided him to see the junctions between its specialized endothelial […]