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posted by mattie_p on Saturday February 15 2014, @06:28PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the want-some-sashimi? dept.
janrinok writes:

"The BBC reports that scientists believe tuna swimming in the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill may have experienced heart damage.

Lab research has demonstrated how crude oil chemicals can disrupt heart function in the fish.

The study (Paywalled Article), published in Science magazine, is part of the ongoing work to try to understand the impacts of the disaster. The gulf is an important spawning ground for bluefin and yellowfin tuna. Tracking studies have indicated that many of these fish would have been in the area during the 2010 disaster.

Scientists have long known that certain chemicals in crude oil – such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – can be harmful to the hearts of embryonic and developing fish. These molecules, which have distinct ring-like structures, cause a slowing of the heart, irregularities in rhythm and even cardiac arrest at high exposures.

The report was being discussed at annual meeting of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS)"

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mtrycz on Saturday February 15 2014, @06:49PM

    by mtrycz (60) on Saturday February 15 2014, @06:49PM (#165)
    While it's obvious that an oil sill is never a good event, it's nice to have some hard data on it's effects.
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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by janrinok on Saturday February 15 2014, @06:55PM

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 15 2014, @06:55PM (#166) Journal

    Probably bad form commenting on my own submission, but one particular item of interest jumped out at me after reading TFA a second time. The pollutants that are responsible for damaging the tuna's heart are the same as are found in areas where vehicle and industrial pollutants are high. It is considered possible that they could be responsible for cardiac problems in humans. This might lead down various paths.

    The first would be additional knowledge regarding the dangers of smog or vehicle exhausts in general which could lead to developing methods of reducing the specific harmful constituents of the exhaust.

    Secondly, knowing the cause of cardiac disease and linking it to a specific pollutant might lead to medical research being able to arrest the disease, and perhaps eventually help to identify avenues that might lead to a cure.

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    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by combatserver on Saturday February 15 2014, @07:59PM

      by combatserver (38) on Saturday February 15 2014, @07:59PM (#170)

      "The pollutants that are responsible for damaging the tuna's heart are the same as are found in areas where vehicle and industrial pollutants are high."

      I can't help but think this might actually be passing the buck in terms of blame--perhaps it is the oil-dispersants that are the problem, rather than the oil. I also noticed that the study linked in the second article was removed--odd, considering how recent that article is. Intentionally removed for PR reasons?

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