Dispatches E-News: Centers of Innovation, Microbial Workers of the World Unite & Pinocchio’s Nose (12/20/17)

Centers of Innovation: Out of the Field and Into the Lab

Far from the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, thousands of scientists are working together to fully understand the implications of the oil spill. And this is where their work usually begins – in research laboratories that are centers of innovation. It’s where long hours are spent searching for answers and making discoveries.

One study that seems to come right out science fiction features oil-steeped fish hearts beating outside the fish’s bodies. Researchers measure the cardiac performance of the hearts with and without oil exposure. They also put fish (with hearts still inside) into swim tunnels — basically fish treadmills — to test their swimming abilities. The result of all this research? Oil significantly impairs the fish’s ability to swim and pump blood well.


GulfCast: Can the Gulf’s Microbial “Worker Bees” Survive?

Dr. Mandy Joye (University of Georgia) is a microbial geochemist. Part of her work includes studies on microbial oceanic “worker bees” that carry out critical processes and keep the ocean healthy. She shares how they are reacting in the years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


Pinocchio’s Nose

It took only a month for the new Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) to reveal insights about shifting ocean circulation patterns that could have major impacts on marine life and fisheries off New England.

Ocean gliders patrolling the OOI Pioneer Array showed how large masses of warm, nutrient-poor Gulf Stream waters periodically intrude into cooler, shallow waters on the continental shelf. These intrusions disrupt conditions that usually support abundant fish, whales, and other marine life at the shelf break—the dynamic region where the shallow seafloor of the continental shelf begins to slope steeply into the deep ocean.

Photo courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


Dispatches from the Gulf 1: Science • Community • Recovery
In the years after Deepwater Horizon – the biggest oil spill in U.S. history – a global team of scientists is working together to understand its environmental impact on humans, wildlife, and the ecosystem with the ultimate goal of learning how to better cope with future oil spills.
Click here to watch the trailer.

Dispatches from the Gulf 2: Research • Innovation • Discovery
Experience remarkable stories from the unprecedented scientific mission to comprehensively study the impact of Deepwater Horizon and find new ways to ease the devastation. Includes the never-before-documented drama of bottlenose dolphins struggling to survive, and the capture of one of the world’s largest predatory sharks.
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Mensajes del Golfo de México
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Dispatches is made possible by a generous grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI).
Additional funding provided by the Wallace Genetic Foundation and the Farvue Foundation.

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