Saturday, 15 February 2014
Tuna hearts 'affected by oil spill'
Scientists say that 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, 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.READ MORE
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