Specific bacterial sRNA plays key role in symbiosis between Vibrio fischeri and squid

Bacteria living symbiotically within the Hawaiian bobtail squid can direct the host squid to change its normal gene-expression program to make a more inviting home, according to a new study published in PLoS Biology by researchers at the University of Hawai’i (UH) at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST).

Nearly every organism and environment host a collection of symbiotic microbes–a microbiome–which are an integral component of ecological and human health.

In bacteria, small RNA (sRNA) is a key element influencing gene expression in the microscopic organisms, however, there has been little evidence that beneficial bacteria use these molecules to communicate with their animal hosts.

In the new study, lead author Silvia Moriano-Gutierrez, a postdoctoral fellow in the Pacific Biosciences Research Center at SOEST, and co-authors found a specific bacterial sRNA that is typically responsible for quality control of

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Deepwater Sightings of Rare Bigfin Squid Reveal Some Serious Weirdness

One of five bigfin squid spotted of the southern coast of Australia.

One of five bigfin squid spotted of the southern coast of Australia.
Image: D. Osterhage et al., 2020/PLOS ONE

An extensive survey of deep waters off the coast of Australia has resulted in a trove of bigfin squid sightings. And by trove, we mean the detection of five individuals—these deep-sea creatures are exceptionally rare, so any new observations are quite valuable to scientists.

“Deep-sea cephalopods are highly diverse and widespread yet often shrouded in mystery,” opens a new study published today in PLOS ONE.

The deep-sea cephalopod in this case is a strange and poorly understood marine animal known as the bigfin squid. The new paper, co-authored by marine biologist Deborah Osterhage from CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere in Tasmania, Australia, describes a recent deepwater survey in which five of these animals were captured on camera. The resulting data is filling in some important gaps about bigfin squid, such as

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Elusive, mysterious sighting of bigfin squid filmed by deep-sea explorers

The bigfin squid has tentacles that extend beyond 5 feet.


CSIRO/Osterhage et al.

At CNET Science, we tend to focus a lot on the worlds and life beyond Earth. We love space. The hellscape lava planets and the icy moons in our solar system are intriguing, unexplored places that hold a lot of secrets. That makes it easy to forget we’re hiding a vast, mysterious world beneath the surface of our oceans, fathoms below the waves. Every now and again, we’re reminded of the wonders (and nightmares) of the deep.

New sightings of the bigfin squid, a cephalopod with tentacles that can grow up to 26 feet long, roaming the ocean where sunlight can’t reach, provide one such reminder. 

In a study published Wednesday in

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Giant squid that washed ashore in South Africa is a rare glimpse of a deep-sea creature

Giant squids are fantastical creatures that live in the crushing depths of the ocean and are rarely seen except in adventure books.

But this winter in South Africa (which was summer in the United States), a baby giant squid washed up on a beach northwest of Cape Town. It lay there, its grey-pink tentacles spread on the sand, and the beachgoers who first saw it realized it was breathing. It had even squirted some of its dark ink onto the sand, an action typically used to confuse predators and one of the reasons that scientist Wayne Florence called the discovery a “stunning find.”

Days before, the giant squid probably had been swimming and searching for food. It would have used those fierce tentacles – the longest was 14 feet – to latch onto its prey and pull it closer to its beaklike mouth.

The animal died before it could be

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Giant squid that washed ashore in South Africa is a rare glimpse of the deep-sea creature

Days before, the giant squid probably had been swimming and searching for food. It would have used those fierce tentacles — the longest was 14 feet — to latch onto its prey and pull it closer to its beaklike mouth.

The animal died before it could be brought to the nearby Iziko South African Museum, where Florence works. The museum has about 20 giant squid specimens, including one that is twice as long as the new arrival. Most of the others were collected after being caught in fishing boats’ nets, making the recent undamaged find special.

The youngster was probably 1 or 2 years old. Giant squids tend to have short lives, lasting about five years, Florence said.

While tissue samples from the latest discovery are being analyzed, scientists from around the world may gather in South Africa for additional research once coronavirus pandemic restrictions are lifted.

They and their

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Ancient ‘paper-clip squid’ may have lived to be 200

paperclipsquidbig

Here’s an artist’s impression of Diplomoceras maximum.


James McKay

Paper clips didn’t exist 68 million years ago, but this squidlike water creature that looks like one did. Diplomoceras maximum measured almost 5 feet (1.5 meters) long and had an outer shell that has the appearance of a paper clip. And the ammonite (an extinct tentacled cephalopod) may’ve lived a very long life, according to new scientific research presented last week at an online meeting of the Geological Society of America.

Professor Linda Ivany and fellow scientist Emily Artruc at Syracuse University, New York, have discovered clues that Diplomoceras maximum might’ve lived to the ripe old age of 200. The evidence comes from chemical signatures found in samples taken from the 20 inch (50 centimeter) long section of its shell. 

When Ivany and Artruc examined the

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‘They’re Calling You on the Squid Phone’

Earlier this week, and more than 2,700 feet underwater by the northern Great Barrier Reef, a remotely operated vehicle named SuBastian engaged in a stare-off with a burrito. That’s what the creature looked like from a distance: an untoasted cylinder floating eerily upright in the ocean’s twilight zone, like takeout from Triton.

Above the waves, in the control room of a Schmidt Ocean Institute research vessel, the pilot, Jason Rodriguez, and the co-pilot, Kris Ingram, navigated SuBastian closer to the unidentified floating object, which spurted and wiggled away several times before coming into focus. The animal was about as long as a breakfast sausage, with wafer-thin fins and one large, searching eye.

“What on earth?” muttered Dhugal Lindsay, who was sipping his morning coffee in his office at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, or Jamstec, in Kanagawa. Dr. Lindsay, a marine biologist, had Zoomed in to narrate

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