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Lab report: Oceans, Nobels and Goldilocks

By Philip Ball   November 2010


One of the most remarkable features of the Census of Marine Life is that it was so little known until the announcement of its completion in early October. The ten-year project involved around 2,700 scientists and 540 ocean expeditions, and has generated more than 2,600 scientific papers. It has delved into the ocean biosphere from the coasts of Antarctica to the deepest abysses, followed seabirds and whales and sifted for plankton and bacteria. But all this activity has remained off the media’s radar.

Oceanographers like to say that we know more about the…

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