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The Invisible Forest: Microbes in the Sea

The Invisible Forest: Microbes in the Sea

This video was recorded at MIT World Series: Soap Box. After listening to Penny Chisholm, you'll view pond scum or aquarium slime in a different light. In fact, Chisholm aims to instill a sense of reverence and concern for the organisms behind this phenomenon, which turn out to be blue-green algae. They're part of a family of microbes called phytoplanktons that are essential to the earth's health. Chisholm sketches the history of phytoplanktons, which first emerged on earth 3.5 billion years ago, and created the oxygen in our atmosphere that made possible all other plant and animal life. "They can live perfectly well without us," says Chisholm, "but we can't live without them." Energized by sunlight, phytoplankton are the ultimate recyclers. Chisholm's research focus, Prochlorococcus,... Show More

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