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Human Health

This category contains 15 posts

How does mercury end up in our seafood? (Guest Post by Patricia Myer)

This is a guest post by Patricia Myer. Patricia is a third-year Chemical Oceanography PhD student at the University of Connecticut. She received her BA in Environmental Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2017. Her current research is focused on the environmental factors affecting bioaccumulation of methylmercury into plankton. Diana FontaineI am a PhD student […]

Spinal Cord Regeneration as Told by Sea Lampreys

Sea lampreys can regenerate their spinal cords twice – a finding that can help us better understand the barriers humans face in recovering from spinal cord injuries. Rishya NarayananRishya is a multimedia science communicator with an MS in Media Advocacy from Northeastern University, specializing in Environmental Science Communications and Policy. She spent a year in […]

Let Marine Microbes Be Thy Medicine

The deep sea is a treasure trove of disease-fighting compounds–and is even helping us in the fight against the novel coronavirus. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I have a multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some engineering), and […]

Tough bugs below the waves?

Just as humans can build up tolerances to things we’re exposed to, so can bacteria. Introduce antibiotics to an ecosystem and it’s a fair bet local germs will take note. Tag along and learn what a group of scientists in Florida found after sampling the water we’ve flushed down the drains! Andrea SchlunkI am a […]

Sunlight May Stimulate Breakdown of Ocean Plastic

A new study suggests that one form of plastic might not take as long to break down in the ocean as previously thought. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I have a multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some […]

Sailing Solo: An alternative way to monitor harmful algal blooms

Have you ever heard about a harmful algal bloom? Do you know what causes them? Or how scientists monitor them? Read on to learn about how a group of scientists from Mote Marine Lab in Florida paired up with Navocean, Inc to create the first autonomous small sailboat to monitor blooms in coastal, shallow water […]

SURFO SPECIAL: Flame retardants: Not as friendly as we like to think

Jamillez Olmo Classen is a senior at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, majoring in Technology in Industrial Chemical Process. This summer, she worked with Dr. Rainer Lohmann (advisor) and Dr. Jitka Becanova (mentor)  studying harmful chemicals and how to properly measure their concentrations in our water supply. Read on below to learn about her work! […]

Attacking Alzheimer’s: Medicinal marine microbes

Alzheimer’s disease is a serious brain condition that affects many elderly people. It is important to find new ways to treat and cure the disease. The ocean, particularly extreme environments, is one of the best places to look for medicinal compounds made by microbes. LeAundra JeffsI am a Master’s Candidate at University of Delaware where […]

Not So Organic Marine Snow

What happens when plastic pollution mixes into the ocean carbon cycle? Read to find out more about how plastic from the surface ocean might reach mussels living at the bottom of the sea! Melanie FeenI am a first year graduate student at the Graduate School of Oceanography at University of Rhode Island. I use robots […]

Snowmageddon: A lighthearted start to Marine Snow theme week

While the term “marine snow” may conjure images of an aquatic winter wonderland, some aspects of this phenomenon may not inspire a Bing Crosby song. Marine snow is responsible for transporting many of the nutrients found in the surface, sunlit waters of the ocean to depths where it becomes a significant food and nutrient source […]

BAD BOYZ 2.0. Emerging environmental contaminants

Our generation is facing environmental challenges not only from commonly-known contaminants, but also emerging ones, which have been lurking in the shadows until recently. Check this week’s post to know more about these (sometimes surprising) pollutants, and their effects! Prabarna GangulyI’m a fourth year PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at Northeastern University. My […]

Tarballs invading our coastlines: Ghosts of oil spills past

We live in a world that is torn between reliance on fossil fuels and renewable energy. Although we have made great strides towards increasing wind and solar energy, the ghosts of oil spills past are washing up on our shorelines. Katherine BarrettKate is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Biological Sciences Department at the […]

MARPOL-ling in the Right Direction

Posted by Steven Koch Research article: Zetterdahl, M., Jana Moldanov, J., Xiangyu Pei, X., Pathak, R. K., Demirdjian, B. (2016). Impact of the 0.1% fuel sulfur content limit in SECA on particle and gaseous emissions from marine vessels. Elseveir, Atmospheric Environment, 145 (2016) 338-345. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2016.09.022 Background Air pollution is an important issue that adversely […]

A toxic toasty blob: warm water in the Pacific provides a happy home for poisonous algae

A warm blob at the ocean surface, fishery closures, and unhappy marine mammals – what do all these things have in common? The answer is microscopic: a toxic type of algae called Pseudo-nitzschia thrives when temperatures are warm and nutrients are plentiful. It poisons the shellfish that feed marine mammals and support a multi-million dollar […]

From Wastewater to Seahorses to the Medicine Cabinet

Pollution of metals could be getting into the tissue of seahorses–the very tissues that are used to make a special Chinese medicine. Now scientists fear that the metal pollutants could harm the patients who take the medicine. Read more to find out what they learned about the accumulation of metals in seahorse tissues. Anne M. […]

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