WHOI mission to study deep sea microbes underway

By on January 16, 2014
The Jason ROV (Credit: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

The Jason ROV (Credit: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

A Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution science cruise pushed offshore in early January to study the sea floor west of Costa Rica, according to the WHOI Dive and Discover website.

Researchers will be using the Remotely Operated Vehicle Jason to study microbes on the Pacific Ocean floor. Exploration will be focused on thermal vents, where many bacteria, archaea and other creatures live in the extreme conditions.

A host of sensors are mounted on ROV Jason to monitor water chemistry at the ocean floor.  The researchers have already successfully sampled bacteria via custom PVC colonizers. A grey biofilm slime, which microbes produce to stick to surfaces and grow, was found on colonizers deployed during the first dive.

Follow daily happenings online through the Dive and Discover website.

Image: The Jason ROV (Credit: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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