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Top Story

Vitamin B-12, and a knockoff version, create complex market for marine vitamins

The New Year is a busy time for pharmacies and peddlers of all health-related products. In the oceans, marine organisms rely on nutrients, too, but the source of their vitamins is sometimes mysterious. University of Washington oceanographers have now found that vitamin B-12 exists in two distinct versions in the oceans. A microbe thought to be a main supplier of B-12 in the open oceans, cyanobacteria, is actually making a “pseudo” version that only its kin can use. The study has implications for where algae and other organisms can get a vitamin that is essential to fueling marine life.

Visit Website | Image credit: Katherine Heal/University of Washington