December 8, 2011 Slideshow

The brand-new instrument SID-ISMS made its debut. Before the intense pressure at 3,500 meters depth grounded it, SID-ISMS collected and preserved samples of water from the DHABs, haloclines, and normal seawater just above the DHABs. Photo by Thorsten Stoeck.

Lea Weinisch was part of the team that harvested the filtered cells, cleaned the filter chambers, and reassembled SID-ISMS for its next deployment.

Maria Pachiadaki, Sabine Filker, and Alexandra Stock prepare to rinse SID-ISMS filter chambers with RNALater, a solution that will prevent RNA in the samples from degrading during the trip back to the surface. Photo by Thorsten Stoeck.

It wasn’t all work and no play. When the music came on, Sabine Filker and Hans-Werner Breiner found the beat.

One of the weirdest sights of the cruise came when ROV Jason dipped into a DHAB. The movement of the vehicle caused slight mixing of water of different densities, which created the Schlieren effect, the shimmery waves seen here. Notice that the injection core held in Jason’s hand is above the level of mixing. The water there is clear.

Between deployments, a quiet moment on deck.

Konstantinos Kormas inoculated small bottles with bacteria from the mat on pushcores from a DHAB. He then used a syringe to replace the air in the bottle (which contains oxygen) with nitrogen, to keep the bacteria in an oxygen-free environment until they reach a laboratory where scientists will try to culture them.

One procedure used on collected protists is FISH—fluorescence in situ hybridization. Fluorescent tags are attached to RNA fragments that bind to specific kinds of cells. In this FISH image of a protist collected in 2009, the red comes from an RNA probe that identifies dinoflagellates. The blue comes from DAPI, a fluorescent dye that binds to DNA. The small blue bodies are bacteria. The nucleus of the dinoflagellate is visible as a lavender spot within the red cytoplasm. Photomicrograph by Bill Orsi.

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