Loggerhead sea turtles may be getting sick because of environmental exposure to toxic organic chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (or PCBs) and pesticides, according to a new study led by Duke University, with collaboration from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and other organizations.
Jennifer Keller prepares to take a blood sample from a loggerhead sea turtle as part of her doctoral studies at Duke University. Keller is now a NIST post doctoral researcher.
Photo by Larisa Avens/NMFS
Released on April 21 in the online edition of Environmental Health Perspectives, the study found that turtles with higher concentrations of contaminants had poorer health. The authors note that the correlations suggest, though do not prove, a cause-and-effect link.
The new study is the first to investigate sea turtle health effects linked to a class of chemicals called organochlorines that are known to sicken other wildlife. Scientists took blood and fat samples from 48 live juvenile turtles captured in North Carolina waters and carried out clinical health assessments. Duke then worked with NIST researchers to measure the samples for concentrations of 80 different PCB and pesticide compounds. The research team found significant correlations for a wide variety of biological functions, suggesting, for example, changes in the immune system, possible liver damage, and possible alterations in protein and carbohydrate regulation.
Laura Ost | EurekAlert!
How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.05.2017 | Life Sciences
23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering