What’s it like to be on a ship in winter in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? USC College geobiologist Katrina Edwards is finding out –- as will readers of her blog, www.usc.edu/northpondexpedition (also at www.sciam.com/blog/60-seconds-in-north-pond/).
Edwards and other marine scientists led by Heiner Villinger of the University of Bremen are taking a three-week cruise to the middle of nowhere –- specifically, a point about 20 degrees north and three miles above a sediment-filled hollow on the sea floor known as North Pond.
There they have been drilling into the sea floor. Why? We’ll let Edwards explain in her posts. But expect musings about life in unlikely places, such as the basaltic rock that makes up the crust.
“That’s where my heart lies: what’s going on with the basalt,” she said.
Edwards already showed that the sea floor is incredibly rich in bacteria. Just as microbes help turn rock into fertile soil, it appears that sea floor bacteria may break down the crust.
The German research vessel RV Maria S. Merian was to set off Feb. 16 from Martinique, but a national strike delayed the scheduled departure until Feb. 18. It returns Mar. 13. The vessel is carrying 22 scientists, among them Edwards’ colleague Wiebke Ziebis and postdoctoral researcher Nina Knab, as well as researchers from the University of Bremen, the Max Planck Institute, the University of North Carolina and Oregon State University.
Other team members may join Edwards on the blog. Comments and questions are welcome.
The National Science Foundation and German agencies funded the expedition.
Carl Marziali | Newswise Science News
Geophysicists and atmospheric scientists partner to track typhoons' seismic footprints
16.02.2018 | Princeton University
NASA finds strongest storms in weakening Tropical Cyclone Sanba
15.02.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Life Sciences