December 22, 2014

Fiddler on the Roof? Northern Extension of Fiddler Crabs’ Range May be Sign of Climate Change

An egg-bearing female fiddler crab, Uca pugnax, at Plum Island, Massachusetts. Credit: A. Buselco-McKim.

  WOODS HOLE, Mass.—David Johnson was standing in a salt marsh on the northern Massachusetts coast when he saw a fiddler crab, Uca pugnax, nearly 50 miles north of its supposed natural range. The migration north of this charismatic crab with the big, waving claw may be yet another sign of climate change. Johnson, then […]

An EZ-Pass for Fish: How a Fast-Warming Arctic Affects Migration and Survival

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The Arctic grayling may look—well, just plain old gray, but for Linda Deegan it’s a “beautiful fish” for many reasons besides being tasty. The grayling is one of very few fish that spends its entire life, including the frigid winter, in Arctic Alaska. To solve the mystery of how they cope, Deegan, a senior scientist […]

Nobel Prize in Chemistry Awarded to Microscopist and MBL Visiting Scientist and Faculty Member Eric Betzig

Eric Betzig tests one of his super-resolution microscopes, still under development, at the MBL. Credit: Tom Kleindinst

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Diana Kenney, Marine Biological Laboratory 508-685-3525 (cell); 508-289-7139; dkenney@mbl.edu WOODS HOLE, Mass.—When Eric Betzig loaded his hand-built, “bleeding edge” super-resolution microscope into an SUV in 2007 and drove it up to the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) for biologists to “test drive” it, it was immediately embraced as a major breakthrough in […]

Serendipity, MBL Style

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New Analysis Reveals Previously “Hidden Diversity” of Mouth Bacteria

This network analysis shows the distribution of oral sites in the human mouth based on the taxonomic units identified in ~6 million bacterial 16S rRNA gene reads by oligotyping. Samples were obtained from 148 healthy individuals; the oral cavity of each individual was sampled at 9 locations. Each circle represents a sample and is colored based on which oral site it is from. Clustering of the oral sites shows that samples from the same oral site across individuals are more similar to each other than samples from the different oral sites in a single individual.

Printable version (pdf) Contact: Gina Hebert 508-289-7725; ghebert@mbl.edu   MBL, WOODS HOLE, MA—A new computational method for analyzing bacterial communities has uncovered closely related, previously indistinguishable bacteria living in different parts of the human mouth. The technique, developed by Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) scientists, provides high taxonomic resolution of bacterial communities and has the capacity […]

Jellyfish Images by MBL’s Osamu Shimomura Light Up an Edinburgh Square

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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 […]

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 […]

Built for Efficiency, Not Speed: Scientists Discover New Propulsive Mechanism in Jellyfish

Moon jellyfish (aurelia aurita), processed data from high speed recordings showing the structure of the vortex. Courtesy of Brad Gemmell.

Contact: Diana Kenney, Marine Biological Laboratory 508-289-7139; dkenney@mbl.edu MBL, WOODS HOLE, Mass.—Jellyfish may not be fast, but they are one of the most efficient propulsors on the planet—which is why they can “bloom” and overrun an ecosystem by outcompeting much swifter predators like fish, Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) visiting scientists report this week. “It seems […]

Deep, Permeable Soils Buffer Impacts of Agricultural Fertilization on Streams and Rivers in Southern Amazon, MBL Study Finds

Rain over a soybean field at Tanguro Ranch in the Upper Xingu watershed, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Intensive crop farming in the Amazon depends on regular rainfall, but lower amounts of water returned to the atmosphere from cropland compared with forest has the potential to change rainfall amount and timing over large areas. Credit: Christopher Neill, MBL

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