Navigation Links
Mercury pollution causes immune damage to harbor seals
Date:10/20/2008

Methylmercury (MeHg), the predominant form of mercury found in the blood of marine mammals and fish-eating communities, could be more damaging to seals than has previously been thought. Research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Environmental Health shows that MeHg harms T-lymphocytes, key cells in a seal's immune system. Similar results were also found for human lymphocytes.

Mercury exposure is known to occur as a result of man-made pollution and natural events such as volcanic eruptions. According to the lead author of this study, Krishna Das of the Universit de Lige, Belgium, "Mercury is known to bioaccumulate and to magnify in marine mammals, which is a cause of great concern in terms of their general health. In particular, the immune system is known to be susceptible to long-term mercury exposure". In order to determine the scale of this problem, the authors carried out analysis of the blood mercury levels of harbour seals caught in the North Sea and tested the effects of MeHg in lab experiments.

By applying increasing doses of MeHg to lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, the authors determined that the amount of mercury found in the blood of the seals studied was enough to cause damage to the important immune system cells. They said, "Although the in vitro approach utilised in this investigation represents an extreme reductionism relative to the complex situation in the intact organism, it provides an insight into the specific effects of mercury pollution."

Immune system damage may already have taken a toll on the population of harbour seals. The 1998 and 2002 outbreaks of phocine distemper virus, known to have killed thousands of seals, were linked to the deleterious effects of pollution on the seals' ability to fight the infection.


'/>"/>

Contact: Graeme Baldwin
graeme.baldwin@biomedcentral.com
44-020-707-94804
BioMed Central
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. International team shows mercury concentrations in fish respond quickly to increased deposition
2. Groundbreaking Canada-US study proves link between emissions and mercury pollution in fish
3. New study shows fish respond quickly to changes in mercury deposition
4. New study shows fish respond quickly to changes in mercury deposition
5. International team shows mercury concentrations in fish respond quickly to increased deposition
6. Groundbreaking Canada-US study proves link between emissions and mercury pollution in fish
7. Waterborne carbon increases threat of environmental mercury
8. Dartmouth researchers alarmed by levels of mercury and arsenic in Chinese freshwater ecosystem
9. Washington University, 2 industries, team to clean up mercury emissions
10. Dental chair a possible source of neurotoxic mercury waste
11. Study shows mercury levels from products decreasing, though still at dangerous levels
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/23/2017)... , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the ... been officially launched in Genoa, Italy . The first ... and the USA . The technology was developed ... market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million ... News Release, please click: ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... 2017 RAM Group , Singaporean ... breakthrough in biometric authentication based on a ... to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based ... by Ram Group and its partners. This sensor will ... chains and security. Ram Group is a next ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Calif. , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global ... of a media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s ... recognition software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during ... at the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... 15, 2017 After spending the past two years building ... data collection, GeneFo now offers this platform to healthcare stakeholders (hospitals, ... support, adherence, and data collection vis a vis their members, under ... successful launch of this offer. ... GeneFo ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Kenall, a ... downlights designed to stay tightly sealed and perform efficiently for years. The downlights ... location listings just aren't enough, such as: hospitals; behavioral health facilities; cleanrooms; containment ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... Oregon (PRWEB) , ... August 14, 2017 , ... ... that provide essential device-to-computer interconnect using USB or PCI Express, announced the release ... , SYZYGY is intended to satisfy the need for a compact, low cost, ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... WI (PRWEB) , ... August 11, 2017 , ... ... in food production, and, in particular, more natural alternatives to synthetic ingredients,” said ... innovation of Third Wave, with the established manufacturing presence and know-how of Biorigin ...
Breaking Biology Technology: