Mobile DNA Element Found in Mosquito Parasite Has Potential for Infectious Disease Control

WOODS HOLE, Mass. — Controlling mosquito-borne illnesses, such as Dengue or West Nile virus, has historically been difficult due to a lack of effective vaccines and concerns about the environmental impact of insecticides. Thus, scientists have turned to manipulating Wolbachia, a parasitic bacterium within mosquitoes, as a way to control the reproductive fitness of mosquito […]

Offspring of Older Mothers are More Responsive to Aging Interventions, Study Finds

WOODS HOLE, Mass. – Advanced maternal age at the time of giving birth is known to decrease how long the offspring will live and their fecundity. However, why this occurs is unknown, and it remains unclear if maternal age also alters how offspring respond to interventions to aging. Researchers at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) […]

MBL Receives Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Award to Fund New Imaging Scientist

Contact: Diana Kenney dkenney@mbl.edu; 508-289-7139 WOODS HOLE, Mass. –  Microscopy innovator Abhishek Kumar, Ph.D., has received a national award from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) to join the staff of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) as a key collaborator in the MBL’s Imaging Initiative, an emerging, interdisciplinary center dedicated to research, discovery, and training in […]

Squid Skin Reveals an Elegant Interplay of Coloration Strategies

Contact: Diana Kenney, Marine Biological Laboratory 508-685-3525; dkenney@mbl.edu WOODS HOLE, Mass. – In the blink of an eye, the squid’s “smart skin” switches color and pattern for the purpose of camouflage or sexual signaling, a virtuosic display that has long fascinated scientists. Now,  collaborators from Northeastern University and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole, […]

Scientists Identify Gene Partnerships that Promote Spinal Cord Regeneration

Contact: Diana Kenney 508-685-3525; dkenney@mbl.edu WOODS HOLE, Mass. — Researchers are one step closer to solving the mystery of why some vertebrates can regenerate their spinal cords while others, including humans, create scar tissue after spinal cord injury, leading to lifelong damage. Scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) have identified gene “partners” in the […]

Catching Up With MBL Director Nipam Patel

Last September, the MBL welcomed a new Director, Nipam Patel, who was a longtime MBL summer course faculty member while he was a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the University of Chicago. In this edited interview, Dr. Patel reflects on the MBL’s unique strengths and possibilities for its future, and shares […]

The Lamprey Regenerates its Spinal Cord Not Just Once — but Twice

Contact: Diana Kenney, Marine Biological Laboratory 508-289-7139; dkenney@mbl.edu WOODS HOLE, Mass.— Spontaneous recovery from spinal cord injury is almost unheard of in humans and other mammals, but many vertebrates fare better. The eel-like lamprey, for instance, can fully regenerate its spinal cord even after it’s been severed — within 3 months the lamprey is swimming, […]

A World First: MBL Team Births Multiple Generations of Pygmy Zebra Octopus

Hundreds of tiny, orange-speckled pygmy zebra octopuses, each no bigger than a grain of rice, have safely hatched out in the MBL’s Marine Resources Center. And Bret Grasse, Manager of Cephalopod Operations, couldn’t be more proud. “It’s very exciting for us. Other scientists have successfully mated this species before, but nobody had achieved multigenerational culture […]

Lifespan Extension at Low Temperatures is Genetically Controlled, Study Suggests

A female rotifer (Brachionus), a model system for aging studies. Credit: Michael Shribak and Kristin Gribble WOODS HOLE, Mass. —Why do we age? Despite more than a century of research (and a vast industry of youth-promising products), what causes our cells and organs to deteriorate with age is still unknown. One known factor is temperature: […]

Team Totals Immense Amount of Carbon in “Zombie” Bacteria, Other Deep Life Microbes

Deep Carbon Observatory contacts: Terry Collins: tc@tca.tc; Katie Pratt: katie_pratt@uri.edu  Barely living “zombie” bacteria and other forms of life constitute an immense amount of carbon deep within Earth’s subsurface—245 to 385 times greater than the carbon mass of all humans on the surface, according to scientists nearing the end of a 10-year international collaboration to […]