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Algae, like all organisms, normally grow in balance with their ecosystems, limited by the amount of nutrients in the water. But sometimes, certain species of algae reproduce so rapidly that they cause damage. In...
Bycatch, the name given to fish and other ocean animals that are caught...
Sea turtles may have survived the planetary changes that killed the dinosaurs,...

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The spiral-tufted bryozoan ( Bugula neritina ) is being studied for a potential Alzheimer's disease and cancer drug -- but it's not the bryozoan that makes the chemical. The chemical, found in the bryozoan's tissues, is produced...
These cancer cells have been treated with discodermolide, a chemical...

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Take a tour of the Alvin, a three-person submersible that allows scientists to explore the depths of the ocean. This is an...

The Ocean Blog

Smithsonian researchers are using this five-person submersible to study the biodiversity of the deep reefs of Curaçao in the southern Caribbean. Read about their adventures in the Summer in a Sub...
Last week, Smithsonian research zoologists Dr. Jerry Harasewych and Dr. Martha Nizinski were in Curaçao looking for deep-sea marine gastropods and decapod crustaceans , respectively. I learned they...
How do we know where ocean animals swim day and night? Scientists are getting snapshots into the daily lives of whales , sharks , and even fish by tagging the animals to track their movements. You’ve...
Searching for useful chemicals, marine scientists grow bacteria associated with deep-sea coral on nutrient agar to identify the bacteria and test their metabolic and biochemical capabilities. Some...
On her maiden voyage the Royal Mail Ship Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic just before midnight on April 14th, 1912. Dr. Robert Ballard first discovered the ship's wreckage in 1985...
The research submersible Alvin uses bright lights to illuminate the dark seafloor. Built in 1964, it has made more than 4,400 dives. It can carry two scientists and a pilot as deep as 4,500 meters (...
This illustration shows how Scarlet Knight , the first unmanned, underwater robot or glider to cross an ocean basin, faced an entire fleet of fishing ships, equipped with nets, threatening the glider...
Most scuba divers scour coral reefs looking for colorful fish, natural beauty, and maybe even the perfect underwater photo . Shirley Pomponi , a biologist at Florida Atlantic University's Harbor...
Editor's note: Thank you for your interest in this app. Unfortunately, it is no longer available. Amazing Ocean is a brand new, free mobile app developed by the U.S. Department of State that features...
An estimated 1.8 billion people will suffer from water scarcity by 2025. Looking for sources of water is becoming important and with oceans containing around 97% of Earth’s water, it would be nice if...
Dive into the Gulf of Mexico without getting wet! The Smithsonian has recently uploaded some of its marine collections from that region onto Google Earth's Ocean Layer . Now you can go where our...
Rutgers oceanographers Josh Kohut (left) and Scott Glenn aboard the Investigador after recovering the Scarlet Knight in Spanish waters. Scientists and students on both sides of the Atlantic...
Scientists talk about the experience of exploring the ocean in this excerpt from the Deep Ocean Explorers video. More about deep ocean exploration can be found in our Deep Ocean Exploration featured...
A robotic arm on the Johnson-Sea-Link submersible retrieves Galatheid crabs for research. Growing in the background is a species of the deep-sea coral Lophelia. Explore more in the multimedia feature...
Researchers collect underwater noises with autonomous recorders.
By Emily Frost Throw a message in a bottle into the vast ocean and where does it go? The answer to this question is not just a romantic curiosity. Thinking about where a small floating item might end...
This Japanese research ship Chikyu drills into the ocean floor to learn about Earth’s history and structure, and the mechanism of earthquakes in particular. Completed in 2005, it is the first...
Researchers use Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) like this one to study the diversity of coral reef organisms. They leave the structures underwater for about a year. Then they retrieve...
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