Dispatch from the field – OGL expedition to Cozumel, Part 4

For their fourth and final dive day in Cozumel, Mexico, OGL divers took a fast boat and headed to Cozumel’s wild north coast. There they encountered not only the strong swells and high currents that the north coast is famous for, but also a completely different fauna and reef structure than is typically seen by recreational divers in the more placid waters to the south. … Continue reading Dispatch from the field – OGL expedition to Cozumel, Part 4

Dispatch from the field – OGL expedition to Cozumel, Part 3

On the third day of the Cozumel Expedition, OGL divers explored two new dive sites on deep walls. Moderate currents gently guided the divers past vast expanses of coral and sponge.  Highlights from the dive included green moray eels (Gymnothorax funebris), a massive Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus)with alarge school of bluestiped grunt (Haemulon sciurus) in tow, Christmas tree worms, (Spirobranchus giganteus) and bearded fireworms, (Hermodice … Continue reading Dispatch from the field – OGL expedition to Cozumel, Part 3

Dispatch from the field – OGL expedition to Cozumel, Part 2

On the second day of OGL’s scouting trip in Mexico, divers explored the breathtaking biodiversity at two locations along Cozumel’s coral reef. Surveys of fish and coral abundance at both sites revealed a variety of corals unparalleled elsewhere in the region. The first dive was on Palencar Reef and took divers through a network of cave-like structures. These revealed four species of black corals and … Continue reading Dispatch from the field – OGL expedition to Cozumel, Part 2

Dispatch from the field – OGL expedition to Cozumel, Part 1

A team of divers from the MSC and the Ocean Genome Legacy are in Cozumel, Mexico this week scoping future research and teaching opportunities for MSC students and scientists. OGL Director, Dr. Dan Distel, is joined by Dive Safety Officer, Liz Magee, undergrad marine biology major, Jaxon Derow, and OGL Board Member, Carol Horvitz. Below are photos from the first day of diving. Continue reading Dispatch from the field – OGL expedition to Cozumel, Part 1

There’s a New Crab Investigator in Town

(Cross-posted from Ocean Genome Legacy News) Asian shore crabs, a highly invasive species, first appeared on the coast of New Jersey in the late 80s and have since spread up and down the East Coast. This winter, a talented high school student named Margaret “Maggie” Slein and her science teacher, Raymond Whitehouse, came to the Ocean Genome Legacy (OGL) at the Northeastern University Marine Science … Continue reading There’s a New Crab Investigator in Town

Spectacular Seaweed: The Next New Sensation?

(Cross-posted from Ocean Genome Legacy news) Seaweed is far more helpful than the smelly, dried-up clusters on the beach suggest. In fact, you may use extracts from these colorful plant-like algae to wash your hair, brush your teeth, and even indulge in ice cream! Soon enough, you may find biofuel from seaweed at the gas pump. That’s why Ocean Genome Legacy (OGL) is launching efforts … Continue reading Spectacular Seaweed: The Next New Sensation?

New Virus Infecting Sea Stars Discovered Using OGL Samples

(Cross-posted from Ocean Genome Legacy news) Why do sea stars get sick? What does that mean for our oceans? Ocean Genome Legacy (OGL) is collecting samples to help solve these mysteries. Last summer, students and scientists at the Northeastern University Marine Science Center noticed something odd about the local sea stars: the sickly stars were wasting away, and their limbs were falling off. It looked … Continue reading New Virus Infecting Sea Stars Discovered Using OGL Samples

Marine DNA Empowers Cancer Research

(Cross-posted from Ocean Genome Legacy news) Can you imagine that a shark or an eel might help your doctor to treat cancer? Ocean Genome Legacy is collaborating with the Austrian Academy of Sciences to study marine genomes in the search for new cancer therapies. Cancer cells are harmful because their genetic programming contains errors, causing genes to turn on or off abnormally. By comparing how … Continue reading Marine DNA Empowers Cancer Research

Presented Live, from Palmer Station, Antarctica!

By Sandi Scripa “How cold is it outside?” “Is it true that Antarctica used to be tropical?” “How bad do the elephant seals smell?” “How many people live in Antarctica? Are there penguins there?” The fourth, fifth, and sixth graders at Johnson Elementary School in Nahant had many exciting questions for Dr. William Detrich, as he chatted with the students via Skype earlier this week … Continue reading Presented Live, from Palmer Station, Antarctica!

The Coral Microbiome: From Symbiosis to Disease

This blog post has been adopted from Flotsam and Jetsam, the Massachusetts Marine Educators quarterly journal. The original article can be accessed here. For many of us, the term “coral reef” is synonymous with “coral bleaching.” When temperatures creep too high, corals expel their algal symbionts – commonly known as zooxanthellae – which are crucial to the survival of the coral animal. We’ve all seen … Continue reading The Coral Microbiome: From Symbiosis to Disease