February 8, 2016

MBL Scientists Discover Highly Organized Structures in Microbial Communities with Novel Imaging Approach

A “hedgehog” structure in dental plaque, collected from a healthy volunteer using a toothpick. Corynebacteria, shown in magenta, form the core of the structure; other bacteria inhabit the structure at characteristic positions. Photo credit: Jessica Mark Welch, MBL

Contact: Diana Kenney, Marine Biological Laboratory dkenney@mbl.edu; 508-289-7139 WOODS HOLE, Mass.– Bacteria usually live in mixed communities with many different kinds of bacteria present. But it’s been largely unknown how these communities are organized, because the technology didn’t exist to see how they are structured in space. This week, for the first time, scientists describe […]

“Natural Born Hustlers” on PBS Features Roger Hanlon’s Camouflaging Cuttlefish

Two cuttlefish touch torsos. Credit: Roger Hanlon

Cuttlefish are astonishingly good at using camouflage to hide from their predators, so it’s right they take a starring role in a new PBS mini-series called “Natural Born Hustlers.” “Meet the planet’s greatest animal hustlers – the con artists, impersonators, and thieves – animals that will do whatever it takes to survive,” the show’s introduction […]

Julie Huber Presents “Planet Microbe” at UChicago 125th Anniversary Event

Julie Huber speaks at the William Eckhardt Research Center Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, at the University of Chicago. The event celebrated the University of Chicago and affiliated laboratories that are powerful partners in transformative science.(Photo by Rob Hart)

Tapping into Marine Biodiversity to Address Questions Not Yet Imagined

Recombinantly expressed and purified septins (green)
polymerized on a glass coverslip. Credit: Amy Gladfelter

The study of life processes has long depended on a small set of so-called model organisms that are amenable to laboratory manipulation and emerged, whether by reasoned choice or experimental serendipity, as favorites for study by legions of scientists and students. But not by everyone. As Amy Gladfelter, professor of cell biology at Dartmouth College […]

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 tabate@stanford.edu; 650-736-2245 Diana Kenney, Marine Biological Laboratory dkenney@mbl.edu; 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; dkenney@mbl.edu 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

Toolik-landscape-Credit-Meera-Subramanian-sm

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 […]