Navigation Links
Researchers from Hebrew U., US discover how mercury gets into fish we eat
Date:2/28/2011

Jerusalem, February 27, 2011 -- Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the US have discovered the mechanism whereby dangerous mercury eventually finds its way into the fish we eat from the open seas and oceans.

The researchers, Prof. Menachem Luria from the Fredy and Nadine Herrmann Institute of Earth Sciences at the Hebrew University and Dr. Daniel Obrist of the University of Nevada, found that "passive" mercury normally found in the atmosphere is converted into an "active," oxidized form in the presence of bromine. The passive mercury is generally non-transferable, whereas the active form is readily absorbed into the environment.

The air over the Dead Sea was chosen for the experiments on mercury oxidation even though it does not contain any fish since it has unusually high levels of bromine that is emitted from the surface into the atmosphere, converting the mercury there into the oxidized mercury.

"In the world generally, the amount of oxidized mercury in the atmosphere constitutes about one percent of all the mercury in the atmosphere," said Prof. Luria, "while above the Dead Sea the oxidized mercury often amounts up to about 50 percent."

In fact, the bromine in the air over the Dead Sea is 200 times greater than over other bodies of water, say the researchers, due not only to the high level of bromine present on the surface but also to the high rate of its evaporation into the atmosphere because of the very high temperatures there. It is important to note, they emphasize, that this process of conversion of passive into active mercury occurs over all bodies of water, even though it may be at much lower levels than at the Dead Sea.

Although health officials in the world have issued warnings from time to time about the danger of mercury found in fish, the process by which the inactive mercury is converted into the active, oxidized form was previously unknown. The current research has now revealed how this occurs, with the resultant introduction of this dangerous, active form of mercury into the fish food chain and ultimately into humans through the consumption of sea food. .

The research by Prof. Luria and Obrist was supported by the National Science Foundation of the US, and the results were published in Nature Geoscience Journal. This is the latest of numerous research projects conducted in the Dead Sea area, which serves as a natural laboratory for a long list of biological-chemical and geophysical research projects, commented Prof. Luria.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jerry Barach
jerryb@savion.huji.ac.il
972-258-64772
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. NC State researchers get to root of parasite genome
2. Researchers find animal with ability to survive climate change
3. Researchers find an essential gene for forming ears of corn
4. Researchers note differences between people and animals on calorie restriction
5. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
6. Researchers discover that growing up too fast may mean dying young in honey bees
7. Researchers study how pistachios may improve heart health
8. UI researchers find potentially toxic substance present in Chicago air
9. Researchers develop new self-training gene prediction program for fungi
10. Case Western Reserve University researchers track Chernobyl fallout
11. Childrens National researchers develop novel anti-tumor vaccine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... N.Y. , June 23, 2017  IBM (NYSE: ... dairy research, today announced a new collaboration using next-generation ... chances that the global milk supply is impacted by ... Cornell University has become the newest academic institution to ... a food safety initiative that includes IBM Research, Mars, ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... , June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) ... international tech event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups and ... on June 15-17. During the event, nine startups will showcase ... value in various industries. France ... the international market, with a 30 percent increase in the ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... robotic gym for the rehabilitation and functional motor sense evaluation of lower ... . The first 30 robots will be available from June in ... The technology was developed and patented at the IIT laboratories and has ... to a 10 million euro investment from entrepreneur Sergio Dompè. ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2017 , ... Biova, LLC., ... Ph.D. has joined Biova’s Board of Directors. Dr. Henig will bring a wealth of ... Henig has served as the Chief Technical and Scientific Officer of four major global ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... Frederick, MD (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2017 ... ... laboratory software solutions provider, announced the latest version of LimitLIS®, its rapidly growing ... designed to speed up user adoption, ensure installation integrity, and provide more customization ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Ken Hanson, a medical imaging ... Instrumente USA, have been selected as this year’s recipients of two top awards from ... been invited along with other honorees to accept their awards at a banquet in ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... website for all six of their healthcare job boards. As the largest ... and occupational therapists, and biotechnicians, DocCafe.com and the MedJobCafe.com Health Network work ...
Breaking Biology Technology: