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persistent organic pollutants

This tag is associated with 17 posts

A blanket of oil: the role of bacteria in cleaning up after Deepwater Horizon

Nearly one million barrels of oil landed on the seafloor after the Deepwater Horizon spill – a feast if bacteria are able to consume it. Michael GrawI’m a 5th year PhD student at Oregon State University researching the microbial ecology of marine sediments – why do we find microbes where they are in the seafloor, […]

Out of sight, but not out of mind: human created chemicals persist deep in the Arctic Ocean  

Human created chemicals can be “too good” at their job, remaining persistent and/or toxic in the environment, well beyond the life span of their commercial use. Read on to explore how DDT was found at depths up to 2500 m in the Arctic Ocean by a team from Stockholm University. Anna RobuckI am a third […]

Fireproofing the Arctic

Chemicals that are stable enough for our everyday use are often remarkably stable in the natural environment as well. This poses a problem because these chemicals can travel far from sources and end up in pristine environments like the Arctic. In the study described here, researchers from Germany and China joined forces to measure one […]

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 now working with the South Carolina DNR at […]

Rachel Carson had the right idea: DDT persists in unexpected ways in dolphins

Rachel Carson was right to focus her novel on the effects of DDT; DDT persists to this day in dolphins off the California coast in forms that are often not monitored by monitoring programs. Anna RobuckI am a third year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography in the Lohmann […]

Not better together: complex pollutant soup spells trouble for marine phytoplankton

A group of international researchers have found that marine phytoplankton communities are susceptible to impairment from complex mixtures of organic pollutants found in oceanic environments. Anna RobuckI am a third year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography in the Lohmann Lab. My current research interests include environmental chemistry, water […]

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- […]

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 […]

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 […]

Baby Beluga is at Heightened Risk: Pollutant Accumulation in Arctic Predators Affects Gene Expression

Analyzing changes in gene transcription is a way to detect adverse effects in organisms before they are observable on the whole organism level. Here, a Canadian research group set out to determine whether beluga whales in the relatively pristine Beaufort Sea are accumulating toxic pollutants at levels that could affect the future health of the […]

From Your Sofa to the Sea

Oceanographers from Spain have measured several commonly used (and potentially harmful) organophosphate ester flame retardants in the air over the Mediterranean and Black Seas. What does it mean for the environment? We’re only just beginning to find out. Carrie McDonoughI am the founder of oceanbites, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Higgins Lab at Colorado […]

Like Mother, Like Son: Stingrays Pass Toxic Pollutants on to Their Offspring

Animals in early stages of development are particularly susceptible to harmful effects of toxic pollutants. For this reason, the transfer of toxic pollutants from mothers to their young has been the subject of intense research. In this study, researchers from California State investigated how non-mammalian species like sharks, skates, and rays pass toxic pollutants on […]

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) Entering Deeper Ocean via Vertical Eddy Diffusion

The ocean is home to many creatures: plankton, fish, mammals, etc. But it is also ‘home’ to a number of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), which are usually at low concentrations in the water but have the potential to bioaccumulate. Where do these pollutants end up? Do they stay in the surface water or do they […]

Disconcerting trends of pollutants in the Scandinavian Otter Population

Fluorinated compounds are an emerging class of persistent pollutants that have a global presence in the environment, biota, and humans, but are only now beginning to be regulated. A group of researchers from Scandinavia looked at liver samples taken from otters in Sweden and Norway from 1972-2011 and found that concentrations of many of these […]

Intense Weight Loss by Migratory Humpback Whales Could Increase Health Risks Posed by Pollutants

Australian and Norwegian researchers measured levels of pesticides and PCBs in southern hemisphere humpback whales to find out whether extreme weight loss during migration could have unforeseen consequences for the species. Carrie McDonoughI am the founder of oceanbites, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Higgins Lab at Colorado School of Mines, where I study poly- […]

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