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Deep-diving sub Alvin cleared to return to service

After a three-year overhaul and major upgrade, the United States' deepest-diving research submersible, Alvin, has been cleared to return to work exploring the ocean's...

First harmful algal bloom species genome sequenced

The microscopic phytoplankton Aureococcus anophagefferens, which causes devastating brown tides, may be tiny but it's proven to be a fierce competitor. In the first genome sequencing of a harmful algal bloom species, researchers found that Au...

First study of dispersants in Gulf spill suggests a prolonged deepwater...

To combat last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill, nearly 800,000 gallons of chemical dispersant were injected directly into the oil and gas flow coming out of the wellhead nearly one mile deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, as scientists begin to ass...

‘Hot-bunking’ bacterium recycles iron to boost ocean metabolism

In the vast ocean where an essential nutrient -- iron -- is scarce, a marine bacterium that launches the ocean food web survives by using a remarkable biochemical trick: It recycles iron. By day, it uses iron in enzymes for photosynthesis to make ...

Novel ocean-crust mechanism could affect world’s carbon budget

The Earth is constantly manufacturing new crust, spewing molten magma up along undersea ridges at the boundaries of tectonic plates. The process is critical to the planet's metabolism, including the cycle of underwater life and the delicate balance ...

Scientists map origin of large, underwater hydrocarbon plume in Gulf

Scientists funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and affiliated with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have detected a plume of hydrocarbons at least 22 miles long and more than 3,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of M...

Methane in Seafloor Released During Periods of Rapid Climate Warming

Scientists have found new evidence indicating that during periods of rapid climate warming methane gas has been released periodically from the seafloor in intense eruptions. In a study published in the current issue of the journal Science, Kai-Uwe Hinrichs and colleagues Laura Hmelo and Sean Sylva of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) provide a direct link between methane reservoirs in coastal marine sediments and the global carbon cycle, an indicator of global warming and cooling.

European Seal Plague May Threaten Population Survival

Time to find zee cureThe 2002 outbreak of phocine distemper virus, or PDV, in European harbor seals may reduce the population by more than half and that future outbreaks with similar characteristics would significantly increase the risk of population declines. Their findings are the first epidemiological data reported on the 2002 outbreak, which is still underway, and may help predict the recurrence of the outbreaks and the impact on the long-term growth and survival of the European harbor seal population.

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