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bioaccumulation

This tag is associated with 26 posts

Human mercury pollution found at the deepest ocean

For many decades, humans have been putting mercury into the ocean, contaminating big fish like tuna and swordfish. But we haven’t fully realized how deep human-produced mercury could move down the ocean until now – and now scientist have found mercury pollution at the deepest parts of the ocean. Jiwoon ParkI am a PhD student […]

Sargassum: An Overlooked Solution

Sargassum, a type of brown seaweed, provides important ecosystem services in the Atlantic. However, this new study explores how sargassum may provide one solution to marine pollution. Ashley MickensI recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science and Sustainability from Miami University of Ohio, and I’m currently working as a marine mammal observer in […]

You are what you eat: Microplastics travel from food to the brain

Oceans are full of microplastics. These tiny plastic particles end up in the stomach of marine animals. Now, scientists have discovered that microplastics can travel from the stomach of velvet swimming crabs to other organs – including the brain. Anastasia YandulskayaI am a PhD candidate at Northeastern University in Boston. I study regeneration of the […]

Larval fish foraging grounds inundated by plastic pollution

If the adage “you are what you eat” holds true, we may be in some big trouble. A recent study found that pieces of plastics are becoming concentrated in areas where larval fish hunt for food, which could be a big problem for fish and humans alike. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the […]

Ocean to Table Mercury: a Rising Risk

For fish eaters, mercury consumption is an ever-present worry but often pushed to the backs of our minds. But the risk of mercury poisoning is only increasing as human activity introduce more mercury into the ocean and atmosphere. In their recent paper, Lavoie and his colleagues estimate how much mercury is reaching our plates through […]

Gassing Earth Out of the Ice Age: the North Pacific

Enhanced upwelling and CO2 degassing from the North Pacific during a warm climate event 14,000 years ago may have helped keep atmospheric CO2 levels high enough to propel the Earth out of the last ice age. Zoe GentesZoe has an M.S. in Oceanography and a B.S. in Geologic Oceanography from URI, with a minor in […]

Heavy Metal Presence in Fish from Fresh and Coastal Waters of Ghana

Heavy metal: it’s not just an intense genre of rock music, but also an element high in density that can be incredibly toxic to humans at concentrated levels. While marine life faces many threats, an increasingly severe force has been the addition and accumulation of heavy metals in both coastal and freshwater environments. Francis Gbogbo […]

After the Phase Out: Can Banning Toxic Chemicals Rescue Pilot Whales?

When it comes to persistent pollutants, all roads lead to the ocean. Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) is a chemical that has recently gained attention due to its toxic effects and widespread presence in drinking water. PFOS from human products has also become widespread in ocean waters and the creatures who live in them. PFOS was banned […]

Microplastics demystified: a review examining how these tiny plastics act in pollutant transfer

Paper: Lohmann, R. Microplastics Are Not Important for the Cycling and Bioaccumulation of Organic Pollutants in the Oceans—but Should Microplastics Be Considered POPs Themselves? 2017. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 13, 460-465. DOI: 10.1002/ieam.1914 Not so fantastic plastic The development of plastic revolutionized daily life. We owe our convenient modern lifestyle to these polymers in […]

Manmade Pollutants Plague Deep-sea Organsims

Scientists have found an alarming accumulation of certain persistent organic pollutants in an environment previously thought pristine and untouched by humans: the deep sea. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island where I studied the sensory biology of deep-sea fishes. I am fascinated by the amazing animals living in our […]

What’s in the Hair of a Polar Bear?

The accumulation of toxic methylmercury is a serious threat to wildlife all over the world – especially top predators in polar regions, like polar bears. Young polar bears are often the most vulnerable to detrimental effects of pollutants. To learn more about levels of mercury in polar bear cubs and their mothers, scientists measured total […]

Go Green for Earth Day!

Do Mother Nature a solid with these helpful tips & tricks to go green today! Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and metabolic responses of Fundulus killifish to intermittent […]

Spawning Under the Influence: Drugs and Toxins Found in Salmon

You may think you’re familiar with the side effects of most common medications, but there are other, hidden side effects occurring beneath the surfaces of our oceans, lakes, and rivers. In this study, researchers brought these side effects to light by measuring a wide range of pharmaceuticals, drugs, and other manmade chemicals, in fish from […]

Tiny ocean creatures play a big role in the global fate of toxic pollutants

Scientists on the “biggest ever expedition on global change” studied the tiniest creatures in the ocean to learn about their role in accumulating and distributing toxic pollutants in the world’s oceans. Carrie McDonoughI am the founder of oceanbites, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Higgins Lab at Colorado School of Mines, where I study poly- […]

The Secret’s in the Slime

Scientists have recently discovered that the hagfish’s notorious slime has uses beyond defense: it also mediates uptake of toxins through the hagfish’s skin. Carrie McDonoughI am the founder of oceanbites, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Higgins Lab at Colorado School of Mines, where I study poly- and perfluorinated chemicals. I got my Ph.D. in […]

We Don’t Know the Half of It: Hundreds of Contaminants in Dolphin Blubber from Southern California

Dolphins and humans are continuously exposed to low levels of various halogenated, persistent manmade pollutants through their diets. In this study, blubber samples from 8 dolphins were analyzed by cutting-edge techniques to find out what’s accumulating in these marine predators. Findings suggest many routine monitoring programs underestimate the exposure of marine mammals to toxins. Carrie […]

Cartilaginous Conundrum: Are Sharks and Skates Safe to Eat?

While smooth dogfish may not be on your list of favorite seafood, cartilaginous fish (mainly sharks and skates) may increasingly find their way onto your dinner plate due to the decline of more traditional fisheries. While increased demand for these species as a food item could help struggling seafood industries, recent proposals to use dogfish […]

Impostor! How mislabeled seafood affects the amount of mercury you ingest

Seafood mislabeling is a big problem for both consumers and fisheries management. Using genetic data and mercury concentrations, scientists figured out how frequently store-bought Chilean sea bass was swapped. Results indicate seafood substitutions can mean very different concentrations of mercury in your meal. Lis HendersonI am studying for my doctoral degree at the Stony Brook […]

The Hairy Truth: Using Grizzly Bear hair to study mercury levels

A large portion of the North American Grizzly Bear population call Western Canada home. The diet of these bears ranges from berries to mammals, and every year in the fall, coastal bears consume copious amount of Pacific salmon. This study investigates hair samples from Grizzly Bears and how they can be used to reflect dietary […]

Source: Keller et al.

Why Do Sea Turtles Get Tumors?

Large numbers of green sea turtles are growing tumors that impede their swimming, block their sight, and prevent them from feeding. Researchers know that the tumor-causing disease, fibropapillomatosis, is more prevalent in some areas than others, but no one knows why. In this study, scientists set out to determine whether exposure to chemical pollutants may […]

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