Genetics

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Starksia blennies, small fish with elongated bodies, generally native to shallow to moderately deep rock and coral reefs in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans, have been well-studied for more than 100 years. It would...
Some fish you can fry up in the pan, no questions asked. Others require a...

The Ocean Blog

In 2003, a team of Japanese scientists analyzed the DNA of tapetails and whalefish. The results suggested that these two very different looking fishes were almost identical in one specific gene. But...
Some fish you can fry up in the pan, no questions asked. Others require a bit of research. Case in point: the puffer fish. Commonly known as fugu, some species contain toxins more deadly than cyanide...
Another common species of sargassum shrimp, Leander tenuicornis (Palaemonidae), can be spotted by its long transparent claws or "chelae". Very similar shrimp are found in near shore habitats all...
Starksia blennies, small coral reef fish with elongated bodies, have been well-studied for more than 100 years. But things are not always what they seem when it comes to fish. Using genetic analysis...
If you are a bird watcher you have probably heard of the Christmas Bird Count. The first one occurred on Christmas Day in 1900 at a variety of locations throughout North America, and it has since...
About the IBRC The Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center (IBRC) was founded in June 2010 by a group of seven international research institutions to promote biodiversity stewardship in Indonesia...
The island of Moorea is a natural laboratory for scientists on a quest to catalog every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers. Head out into the field and watch as researchers use cutting-...
Even on an early winter morning, it was sunny and warm in southern Florida. This was great because, regardless of the weather, Dr. Jon Norenburg and I were going to walk chest-deep into the water to...
Microbes are some of the most important organisms in the sea. These miniscule organisms provide an important link in the food web between the dissolved nutrients in the ocean and larger organisms...
A marine scientist performs a genetic analysis on a sample of deep-sea coral to find out if it is a known species or one new to science. Find out how ocean scientists study deep-sea corals in our...
This piece of pocillopora, or cauliflower coral , would normally have a rigid outer skeleton, but researchers dissolved it to expose the coral’s tissue and take a sample for DNA analysis. Read more...
Scientists on the tiny island of Moorea, in the Pacific, are gathering one of every life form large enough to pick up with tweezers. They're on a quest to build a detailed catalog of the entire...
Dr. Mahmood Shivji explains how shark DNA is used as evidence to prosecute shark fin poachers . What is shark finning? Find out here .
This month, our friends at National Geographic are featuring Smithsonian's own bio-scavenger, Chris Meyer and his work in one of our favorite places: Moorea , French Polynesia. In a beautiful meld of...
Doing scientific research on a ship isn't always easy. On top of having to live and sleep on a boat on the water, you have to fit all your scientific equipment onboard—and make sure it continues...
Forensics is a key tool for enforcing the laws and treaties that protect marine animals. Investigators in a recent case used DNA analysis to track down and convict sea turtle poachers. All seven...
Welcome to Moorea, a tiny, isolated island in the middle of the vast Pacific. Moorea is 132 square kilometers (51 square miles) of tropical ecosystems – from jungle and wetlands to beaches and coral...
Dr. Carole Baldwin never expected to find seven new species of fish among the Starskia blennies she was studying at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. "My research team was using...
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