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By Matt Person

If this photo suggests someone who has been far away and returned to report on his explorations, then it accurately depicts MBL scientist Paul Colinvaux’s informal lecture in the last of the MBLWHOI Library’s Summer Salon series. Reading from his book, Amazon Expeditions: My Quest for the Ice-Age Equator (2008, Yale University Press), Colinvaux gave a “you are there” sense of the exciting discoveries he made during his long career, which included climate research revelations during a search for lakes on cloud-shrouded Galapagos Island mountaintops; trekking deep into the Amazon for further climate studies; and recounting his earliest climate research in the Alaska wilderness.

“This is a memoir of a life in science. It is a story of exploring,” writes Colinvaux in a synopsis to his book. “It is a story of a great hypothesis [the refuge hypothesis] that grew into a scientific paradigm of our times. It explores the Amazon, the ice age, and climate change. … It is a tale of when evolutionary ecology came of age, to seek causes for the diversity of living things. … It tells of the power of paradigms to control the thoughts of men and of a struggle to remove an Amazon paradigm whose consequence was mischievous.”

Paul Colinvaux speaks at the MBLWHOI Library's Summer Salon series. Photo by Matt Person

Paul Colinvaux speaks at the MBLWHOI Library's Summer Salon series. Photo by Matt Person

By Julia Darcey

Perhaps the only way to fully appreciate Woods Hole’s blue ponds and long points is from the air. Peter Mangiafico, scientific informatics project leader for the Encyclopedia of Life (www.eol.org), recently got his pilot’s license and has been treating friends and family to some magnificent views during flights in a rental Cessna.

From left: Anthony Goddard, uBio lead developer & systems administrator, David Shorthouse, scientific informatics project leader, and at the plane's controls, Peter Mangiafico, all of the EOL.  Photo by Anthony Goddard.

From left: Anthony Goddard, uBio lead developer & systems administrator; David Shorthouse, EOL scientific informatics project leader; and Mangiafico in the pilot's seat. Photo by Anthony Goddard

Mangiafico’s wife, Karen Casciotti, who is an associate scientist in Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry at WHOI, captured this beautiful shot of Woods Hole, with Eel Pond at center, during another flight.

Photo by Karen Casciotti.

Photo by Karen Casciotti.

By Julia Darcey

The MBL is known for bringing scientists from separate institutions together for unique and productive collaborations. That was a big draw for husband and wife, Joseph D. Buxbaum, a molecular geneticist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Dorothy E. Grice, a child psychiatrist at Columbia University, who rarely get the chance to work side-by-side. Their joint work at the MBL bore fruit this month when a paper they wrote with lead author Yuji Kajiwara, also of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, was published online in Biological Psychiatry. The team found that SLITRK1, a neural protein linked to Tourette syndrome and OCD, has an important binding protein called 14-3-3 and must be phosphorylated to function. Knowing how SLITRK1 functions is the first step to understanding its role in brain development and in disorders like Tourette syndrome.

Joseph Buxbaum (left) with lead author Yuji Kajiwara.  Their collaborator Dorothy Grice,<br /> who is married to Buxbaum, is presently in New York.  Photo by Julia Darcey
Joseph Buxbaum (left) and Yuji Kajiwara. Their collaborator Dorothy Grice,
who is married to Buxbaum, is presently in New York. Photo by Julia Darcey

“Because we work at separate institutions, we rarely get to share time in the lab. Working together at the bench, where we each contribute from our own areas of expertise, is an important part of our collaboration. So the opportunity to really work closely together is here, at the MBL,” Buxbaum says. Grice knew first-hand that the MBL was the perfect place to collaborate on this project—she grew up in Woods Hole, where her mother was an MBL librarian and her father a scientist at WHOI. “I knew from growing up here,” she says, “that the MBL would provide a great scientific environment. And we knew that it would be a great setting for the molecular biology and functional studies we wanted to do.”

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