Navigation Links
Plastics suspect in lobster illness
Date:8/14/2008

MBL, WOODS HOLE, MAThe search for what causes a debilitating shell disease affecting lobsters from Long Island Sound to Maine has led one Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) visiting scientist to suspect environmental alkyphenols, formed primarily by the breakdown of hard transparent plastics.

Preliminary evidence from the lab of Hans Laufer suggests that certain concentrations of alkyphenols may be interfering with the ability of lobsters to develop tough shells. Instead, the shells are weakened, leaving affected lobsters susceptible to the microbial invasions characteristic of the illness.

"Lobsters 'know' when their shell is damaged, and that's probably the reason when they have shell disease, why they molt more quickly," says Laufer, a visiting investigator at the MBL for over 20 years and professor emeritus of molecular and cell biology at the University of Connecticut. "But ultimately, they still come down with the disease. And we think the presence of alkyphenols contributes to that."

Like any crustacean, lobsters shed their shells multiple times in one lifetime. After molting, the outer skin of the soft and exposed lobster will begin to harden. It is here that Laufer thinks the alkyphenols are doing their damage. At this point, a derivative of the amino acid tyrosine, whose function is to harden the developing shell, is incorporated. It is known that alkyphenols and tyrosine are similarly shaped and Laufer suspects that the toxin may be blocking tyrosine from its normal functions. He is at MBL this summer to measure the amount of competition between the two molecules. Alkyphenols are also known to act as endocrine disruptors.

Laufer discovered the presence of alkyphenols in lobsters serendipitously while investigating a tremendous lobster die off at Long Island Sound in 1999, when shell disease, first observed in the mid-1990s, was noted to be on the rise. Although an unusually hot summer, it was also the first time New York City sprayed mosquito populations to prevent the spread of West Nile virus. Laufer, who began his career as an insect endocrinologist, suspected the toxins from the sprayings may have contributed to the lobster die off. In 2001, while searching for the mosquito toxins in lobsters, he instead found alkyphenols.

"It's a real problem," Laufer says. "Plastics last a long time, but breakdown products last even longer. Perhaps shell disease is only the tip of the iceberg of a more basic problem of endocrine disrupting chemicals in marine environments."


'/>"/>

Contact: Diana Kenney
dkenney@mbl.edu
508-289-7139
Marine Biological Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Protein fibrils as alternative plastics?
2. Boost for green plastics from plants
3. Simplifying manufacture of drugs, plastics earns UH chemist top honor
4. Scientists suspect omega-3 fatty acids could slow acute wound healing
5. Butter-flavored popcorn ingredient suspected cause of lung disease
6. Meteor no longer prime suspect in great extinction
7. Fishermen and UCSB scientists explore ways to improve management of California spiny lobsters
8. Gene chips used to distinguish ventilator-associated pneumonia from underlying critical illness
9. Research pioneer in the developmental origins of psychiatric illness is awarded the Sackler prize
10. Fresh-cut produce washing practices can minimize food-borne illness risks
11. Laser can spot illness before symptoms appear
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Plastics suspect in lobster illness
(Date:2/2/2017)... YORK , Feb. 2, 2017  EyeLock LLC, ... released a new white paper " What You Should ... The problem of ensuring user authenticity is a growing ... the authentication of users. However, traditional authentication schemes such ... Biometric authentication offers an elegant solution ...
(Date:1/26/2017)... 2017  Crossmatch, a leading provider of security and ... at combatting fraud, waste and abuse in assistance operations ... Action on Disaster Relief conference in Panama ... agencies and foreign assistance organizations throughout Latin ... are a largely unacknowledged problem in the foreign assistance ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... , Jan. 23, 2017  The latest mobile ... smartphone prices have dropped dramatically. The quarterly average price ... 2013 to $276 in Q4 2016.  There are now ... price of $116, up from just 28 a year ... According to Maxine Most , Acuity Market ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/18/2017)... DUBLIN , Feb 17, 2017 Research ... Global Strategic Business Report" report to their offering. ... The report provides separate ... Europe , and Rest of World. Annual estimates and ... six-year historic analysis is provided for these markets. Market data and ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... MILPITAS, Calif. , Feb. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... posters detailing data on its oral peptide drug ... Congress of the European Crohn,s and Colitis ... in Barcelona, Spain from ... The posters detail preclinical data on Protagonist drug ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... 16, 2017  MDNA Life Sciences Inc. (MDNA), ... liquid biopsy tests based on the mitochondrial genome, ... license agreement with its first international commercial partner, ... test for prostate cancer, the Prostate Mitomic Test ... This is the first overseas appointment for MDNA ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... BEACH, Florida , February 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... improving with the infusion of innovative telemedicine application, ... monitoring services that are experiencing a boom worldwide. ... with the advancement of technologies, services and new ... Inc. (OTC: RQHTF) (TSX-V: RHT), Cellectar Biosciences, Inc. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: