July 23, 2014

Quest for Jellyfish Robot Leads to Discovery of Common Bending Rules for Wings, Fins, and other Natural Propulsors

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CONTACT: Diana Kenney, Marine Biological Laboratory 508-289-7139 or 508-685-3525; dkenney@mbl.edu WOODS HOLE, Mass. —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 […]

Harvard-MBL Bioengineering Collaboration Uncovers New Reflective Mechanism in Cuttlefish Skin

A cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) camouflages on the ocean floor. Credit: Roger Hanlon

  CONTACTS: Caroline Perry, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (617) 496-1351, cperry@seas.harvard.edu Diana Kenney, Marine Biological Laboratory 508-289-7139; dkenney@mbl.edu High-resolution images are available upon request. Cambridge, Mass., and Woods Hole, Mass.—Scientists at Harvard University and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) hope new understanding of the natural nanoscale photonic device that enables a small […]

@MBL: What Image “Greenness” Can’t Reveal About Plants

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Different Sponge Species Have Highly Specific and Stable Microbiomes, MBL Scientists Report

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Contact: Diana Kenney 508-2897139; dkenney@mbl.edu WOODS HOLE, Mass. —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 […]

Julie Huber Named Associate Director of NSF Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations

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MBL microbial oceanographer Julie Huber has been appointed associate director of the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI), an NSF-supported Science and Technology Center at the University of Southern California. Huber continues in her present positions at MBL, which include associate scientist and associate director of the Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology […]

MBL Scientists to Study Coastal Waterbird Habitats through Funding for President Obama’s Climate Action Plan

A common tern at Ram Island, Mass. Photo by Craig Gibson

Printable version (pdf) WASHINGTON, D.C.–Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced in December that Interior’s eight regional Climate Science Centers (including the Northeast CSC, a consortium that includes the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.) are awarding nearly $7 million to universities and other partners for research as part of President Obama’s Climate Action […]

Blind Cavefish Offer Evidence for Alternative Mechanism of Evolutionary Change

The surface-dwelling Astyanas mexicanus, which has eyes and pigmentation. Credit: William Jeffery

Contact: Diana Kenney, Marine Biological Laboratory 508-289-7139; dkenney@mbl.edu WOODS HOLE, Mass.—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 […]

MBL Course Students Featured in “Why I Do Science”

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Mechanisms of Wound Healing are Clarified in Zebrafish Study

Zebrafish (Danio rerio). Credit: Lukas Roth

WOODS HOLE, Mass.— A crucial component of wound healing in many animals, including humans, is the migration of nearby skin cells toward the center of the wound. These cells fill the wound in and help prevent infection while new skin cells regenerate. How do these neighboring skin cells know which way to migrate? What directional […]

Grasshopper Mice have Evolved Neurons that Block the Painful Sting of the Bark Scorpion

The grasshopper mouse and its prey, the bark scorpion. Credit: University of Texas at Austin

Contacts: Lee Clippard; clippard@austin.utexas.edu; 512-232-0675 Ashlee Rowe; roweashl@msu.edu; 517-432-4468 Austin, TEXAS—Bark scorpions are well known for inflicting intensely painful, potentially lethal stings. But grasshopper mice respond to the bark scorpion’s sting by grooming for only a few seconds before pressing their attack, voraciously killing and consuming the scorpion. How the mouse manages to defend itself […]