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13 March 2014 11:08 am ,
Vol. 343 ,
Researchers dependent on government funding would face a flat future under the White House's $3.9 trillion budget...
Reservoirs of cells that harbor HIV DNA woven into human chromosomes have become the bane of researchers trying to cure...
Geochemists have now incorporated in their models some details of the way naturally acidic rainwater dissolves rock...
Schizophrenia is a devastating mental disorder that afflicts about 1% of the world's population at one time or another...
Surface tension is a force to be reckoned with, especially if you are small. It enables a water strider to skate along...
In the shadow of the crisis in Crimea, Ukrainian legislators are weighing a pair of science and education bills that...
- 13 March 2014 11:08 am , Vol. 343 , #6176
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What's Happening to Marine Life?
20 May 2010 3:56 pm
Just after the spill, researchers at the state-funded Dauphin Island Sea Lab off the Alabama coast stepped up their existing research to trawl for plankton along a 56-kilometer stretch south of the island; they will repeat the survey every 2 weeks. Another ongoing study based on rigs near the spill uses underwater, company-owned robots to monitor the squid, crustaceans, and fish that dwell 200 to 2400 meters below the surface. Besides tallying deaths, academic scientists will look for changes in the animals' daily feeding movements.
An ambitious new study is about to start thanks to a rapid-response grant from the National Science Foundation. Working from two or three university research vessels, scientists from several institutions will trace oil over the next 3 to 6 months as it moves through the food chain from single-celled algae to large fish such as tuna.
NOAA is monitoring the spill's effects on the more than 20 species of marine mammals, notably bottlenose dolphins and endangered sperm whales, and five species of endangered sea turtles that call the gulf home. Besides checking for oil in and on the bodies of six dolphins and more than 100 sea turtles collected so far, the agency is conducting aerial surveys to count the gulf's dolphins and whales, and taking biopsies of one bottle-nosed dolphin population to determine baseline levels of the animals' exposure to oil and other contaminants. Scientists will also monitor mammals acoustically with an underwater device.