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Ehux from space

converted PNM fileSo I was looking for something that connected these three things: the Victorian scientist Thomas Henry Huxley, the small calcified plates out of which the chalk of the South Downs is made, and human exploration in space (in particular how we are able to connect emotionally over great distances, such as the feelings expressed of the recent comet lander Philae). So here goes: it was Huxley who first identified those calcified plates and named them coccoliths. Years later one of the minute phytoplankton that produce these coccoliths was named after him, namely Emiliania huxleyi, known, to those who know such things, as ‘Ehux’ (check out its website). Ehux is currently under investigation as it is a player in climate change, part of the ocean’s mechanism for absorbing carbon dioxide. This is especially true when it blooms, which seen from space turns the ocean milky (as in this picture by NASA, Winchester is just off the top right). At this point it is worth getting the scale clear: from what I understand Ehux is about the size of a red blood cell, and here you are seeing it from space! And so the circle turns again, from the micro to the macro. If you were to ask me where is this all leading, I couldn’t answer at the moment. At this stage I am a storyteller, someone “who loses their identity and is open to the lives of others”. 

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