Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists at UJI and CSIC patent a method to remove organic pollutants from molluscs

04.12.2007
Researchers at the Universitat Jaume I (UJI) and the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) have patented an innovative method to remove organic pollutants, such as pesticide residues, from bivalve molluscs. The new technique increases the rate of removal of organic compounds by a factor of two or, depending on the type of pollutant, even four with respect to other methods used to date.

Bivalve molluscs (mussels, oysters, clams and cockles, among others) obtain their food by filtering sea water in order to retain the organic particles it contains. But together with nutrients, molluscs also tend to accumulate other suspended particles such as organic pollutants, which later enter the human organism when the molluscs are eaten.

The cultivation of bivalve molluscs in shallow waters close to urban, industrial and agricultural areas may cause these organisms to accumulate organic pollutants, including pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, furans and endocrine disruptors. High consumption of these polluted animals during periods of intense contamination represents a serious concern for public health.

According to a number of studies, chronic exposure to pesticides and the other pollutants mentioned above is associated to a higher risk of developing cancer and certain neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, endocrine disruptors may interact with the metabolic system of animals and humans and deteriorate a variable number of developmental functions. This is why it is necessary to detoxify molluscs before they are eaten.

To date, this decontamination consisted in treating them with filtered, sterilised water or by applying hydrostatic pressure at high temperatures for 48 hours. However, complete removal of pesticides from the tissues of the bivalve molluscs takes several days, so the conventional treatment may not be sufficient.

“The method that we have developed allows us to improve this process and means that pesticides can be removed from the tissues of molluscs twice or even four times as quickly, depending on the type of pollutant. It also increases tolerance to oxidative stress”, says Roque Serrano, a scientist at the University Institute of Pesticides and Waters at UJI and co-author of the study.

The method consists in utilising N-acetylcysteine, a substance that is capable of stimulating the intracellular synthesis of glutathione and triggers glutathione S-transferase and glutathione reductase activity in mussels. Glutathione is essential in most living organisms, since it intervenes in several very important cellular phenomena, such as detoxification of xenobiotics and the elimination of free radicals. The importance of the work carried out by the UJI and CSIC researchers lies in the fact that it proves that administration of N-acetylcysteine enhances glutathione activity in molluscs and, therefore, has remarkable applications as a technique for removing pollutants from mussels.

The researchers responsible for the invention of the method are Samuel Peña Llopis, who currently works at the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Roque Serrano Gallego, from the University Institute of Pesticides and Waters at UJI, and Juan B. Peña Forner, from the Department of Biology, Culture and Pathology of Marine Species at the CSIC’s Torre de la Sal Aquaculture Institute.

Hugo Cerdà | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uji.es/ES/noticies/detall&id_a=10952204

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New research recovers nutrients from seafood process water
31.10.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology

nachricht Plant Hormone Makes Space Farming a Possibility
17.10.2018 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

20.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Researchers find social cultures in chimpanzees

20.11.2018 | Life Sciences

When AI and optoelectronics meet: Researchers take control of light properties

20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>