Nipam Patel Appointed Director of the Marine Biological Laboratory

Media Contact: Diana Kenney, Marine Biological Laboratory 508-685-3525; dkenney@mbl.edu WOODS HOLE, Mass. – Nipam Patel, a leading scholar in modern evolutionary and developmental biology, has been appointed director of the Marine Biological Laboratory, an affiliate of the University of Chicago. In addition, Patel will be appointed as a faculty member at the University of Chicago. Patel currently […]

You’re In or You’re Out! Team Reveals How Cells Can Compose Liquid Droplets

Contact: Diana Kenney, Marine Biological Laboratory dkenney@mbl.edu; 508-289-7139 WOODS HOLE, Mass. – A longstanding mystery in biology is how the millions of molecules bumping around in a cell “find” one another and organize into functional structures. So it was a big surprise in 2008 when participants in the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Physiology course realized […]

MBL Scientists Describe Major Differences Between Related Desert and Aquatic Algae

By Stephanie M. McPherson Staying alive in the desert is no simple matter for green algae whose evolutionary ancestors lived in the ocean. How can some algal species survive extreme drought, while others desiccate and die? Understanding this difference can provide important information on requirements for drought tolerance that it may be possible to apply […]

Team Discovers a Significant Role for Nitrate in the Arctic Landscape

Contact: dkenney@mbl.edu 508-289-7139 WOODS HOLE, Mass. ­—Nitrogen, an essential plant nutrient, is most readily absorbed by plants in its ammonium and nitrate forms. Because of the very low nitrate levels found in arctic tundra soil, scientists had assumed that plants in this biome do not use nitrate. But a new study co-authored by four Marine […]

Genetic Analysis Uncovers the Evolutionary Origin of Vertebrate Limbs

Media Contact: Matt Wood, The University of Chicago Medicine 773-702-5894 Matthew.Wood@uchospitals.edu A new study co-authored by Neil Shubin, Interim Co-Director of the Marine Biological Laboratory, finds modern-day vertebrates share the toolkit that formed the dorsal fins of fishes CHICAGO — As you picture the first fish to crawl out of primordial waters onto land, it’s […]

What Does it Take to Hum an Hour-Long Mating Call? MBL Whitman Scientists Explain

By Stephanie M. McPherson When Lawrence Rome comes back to the Marine Biological Laboratory’s Whitman Center summer after summer, he’s excited to see who he’ll find. “Some of the scientists are there every summer, so you have good [ongoing] collaborations,” he says. “And other people come for one or two summers. So there’s this combination of a wash of […]

How the Cuttlefish Spikes Out its Skin: Neurological Study Reveals Surprising Control

Contacts: Diana Kenney, Marine Biological Laboratory dkenney@mbl.edu; 508-685-3525 or 508-289-7139 Craig Brierley, University of Cambridge Craig.Brierley@admin.cam.ac.uk; 01223 766205 WOODS HOLE, Mass. — Wouldn’t it be useful to suddenly erect 3D spikes out of your skin, hold them for an hour, then even faster retract them and swim away? Octopus and cuttlefish can do this as […]

Genes that Aid Spinal Cord Healing in Lamprey Also Present in Humans, MBL Team Discovers

Contact: 508-685-3525; dkenney@mbl.edu Woods Hole, Mass. — Many of the genes involved in natural repair of the injured spinal cord of the lamprey are also active in the repair of the peripheral nervous system in mammals, according to a study by a collaborative group of scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and other institutions. […]

Internal Forces Directing Cell Migration are Revealed by Live-Cell Microscopy

Contact: 508-685-3525; dkenney@mbl.edu WOODS HOLE, Mass. — How do cells move in a certain direction in the body —go to a wound site and repair it, for example, or hunt down infectious bacteria and kill it? Two new studies from the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) show how cells respond to internal forces when they orient, […]

Growing Teeth and a Backbone: Studies Trace Early Origins of Skeletal Tissues

Contact: dkenney@mbl.edu; 508-289-7139 WOODS HOLE, Mass.—Two new studies on the evolutionary origin of teeth and of vertebra further illuminate the human connection to marine organisms that goes back millions of years. Both studies in the little skate (Leucoraja erinacea) are published this week by Andrew Gillis and Katharine Criswell of the University of Cambridge, U.K., […]