Keating remarked on the exponential advances in information technology that allow scientists to transmit data from field stations “instantly, accurately, and efficiently.” He also commended the two groups for collaborating. “Working jointly, with the information you gather, creates enormous opportunities” in the private sector as well as in environmental science, Keating said.
Keating represents the 9th district of Massachusetts, which includes Cape Cod and the islands. He was invited to the MBL by Sarah Oktay, president of OBFS and director of the UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station. MBL Senior Scientist Alan Kuzirian is the founding secretary/treasurer of NAML ( from 1990-2014).
Joe DeGiorgis, assistant professor of biology at Providence College, brought four undergraduates to the MBL last summer to conduct research on the squid–a star model system of neurobiology. The experience was “incredibly enriching,” said one undergraduate. “You can’t do any better than this.” DeGiorgis is also adjunct faculty in the MBL’s Cellular Dynamics Program. Read more here.
Eye of the North Atlantic long-finned squid (Doryteuthis pealei). Credit: Joseph DeGiorgis
The MBL Activities Committee and Sodexo hosted a lively and tasty “Pulled Pork BBQ” this week in the MBL Quadrangle. The main event was a pie-making contest, which also provided the fast-disappearing desserts. Congratulations to the winning bakers (pictured in the last photo in the slideshow): Diane Cook, Suzanne Thomas, and Lisa Hunt. And thanks to all who baked, judged, served, helped out, and ate!
The MBL’s Anne Giblin and colleagues are watching how the salt marshes in the Plum Island Estuary in northern Massachusetts are bearing up as the climate warms, sea level rises, and coastal development stresses their ecological integrity. A senior scientist in the MBL Ecosystems Center, Giblin directs the multi-institutional Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project at Plum Island, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
This video was produced at the NSF as part of the “Science Nation” video series, which is distributed to media outlets and K-12 content distributors throughout the world. For more information on “Science Nation,” please contact Laurie Modena Howell: email@example.com.
Anne Glblin (center) at Plum Island Estuary with former MBL Semester in Environmental Science students Austin Ritter (L) and David Dodge.
WOODS HOLE, Mass.–For decades, doctors have developed methods to diagnose how different types of cells and systems in the body are functioning. Now a team of scientists has adapted an emerging biomedical technique to study the vast body of the ocean.
In a paper published last week in the journal Science, scientists demonstrated that they can identify and measure proteins in the ocean, revealing how single-celled marine organisms and ocean ecosystems operate.
MBL Senior Scientist Anton Post of the Bay Paul Center was part of the research team, which was led by Mak Saito, a biogeochemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
“Proteins are the molecules that catalyze the biochemical reactions happening in organisms,” says Saito. “Instead of just measuring what species are in the ocean, now we can look inside those organisms and see what biochemical reactions they’re performing in the face of various ocean conditions.
“It’s a potentially powerful tool we can use to reveal the inner biochemical workings of organisms in ocean ecosystems–and to start diagnosing how the oceans are responding to pollution, climate change and other shifts,” Saito says.
The emerging biomedical technique of measuring proteins–a field called proteomics–builds on the more familiar field of genomics that has allowed scientists to detect and identify genes in cells.
“Proteomics is an advanced diagnostic tool that allows us to take the pulse of, for example, phytoplankton cells while they respond to environmental cues,” says Post, who is currently on leave from the MBL to serve as a program officer in NSF’s Division of Ocean Sciences.
The new study is an initial demonstration that proteomic techniques can be applied to marine species not only to identify the presence of proteins, but for the first time, to precisely count their numbers.
“We’re leveraging that biomedical technology and translating it for use in the oceans,” Saito says.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation funded the research. The full press release is available here.
As the climate changes, the ocean is becoming more acidic, which stresses coral reefs. Credit: NOAA
The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is dedicated to scientific discovery and improving the human condition through research and education in biology, biomedicine, and environmental science. Founded in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, in 1888, the MBL is a private, nonprofit institution and an affiliate of the University of Chicago.
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