Archive for April, 2013

 

Ciguatoxin – The risky business behind Roi consumption

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Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) is a food borne illness that occurs in the tropics, between the latitudes of 35°N and 35 °S (Lehane and Lewis, 2000). Ciguatoxin (CTX) is a naturally occurring marine toxin that is generated by photosynthetic dinoflagellates from the genus Gambierdiscus spp. These lipid-soluble compounds are heat stable, tasteless and odorless. Through […]

Aliens in our Oceans

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Since humans started to notice the awe-inspiring wonders of the cosmos, we have been searching for other life in the universe to prove that we are not alone in it.  Alien life seems to be intoxicating to many people.  However, I would argue that one needs to look no further than our very own oceans […]

venom from marine animals promising to be used for medical purposes

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Animal venoms have recently become a hot commodity in the medical field for therapeutic use because of their overall potency and molecular specificity. Increasing research related to the human immune and nervous systems have brought this technology to the forefront. The first venom-derived drug (for hypertension) was approved by the FDA about 30 years ago […]

The Toughest Animal on the Planet

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Imagine the toughest animal on the planet. This creature can survive temperatures from -272 to 100 degrees Celcius (Xiaochen and Lizhi 2005, Hengherr et al. 2009). They can also survive radiation a thousand times higher than would be lethal to humans (Horikawa et al. 2008). The toughest animal on the planet? The tardigrade or the water […]

coral reefs in danger….

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Recent studies in Australia have show that the Great Barrier Reef is 50% of its former size (Great Barrier Reef: Half its Coral Lost 2012). On a local scale, this represents a large loss in species and diversity in this region. This could impact not only the environment in the region, but human fisheries too. […]

incredible water bears!

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I first learned of tardigrades in January, 2012 when they were the subject of a Youtube video that I watched. I was instantly drawn to the inexplicably adorable and unbelievably durable little creatures. Having never heard of them before, I was even more surprised when they came up in our Biol 301L Marine Ecology lab. […]

Misunderstanding involved with consuming marine organisms

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When I first started studying marine biology at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa I didn’t eat very much fish. I had heard all the hype about mercury poisoning and the potential health risks and was not interested in getting sick. After taking an oceanography class on fisheries I found out that this was a very […]

PLEASE, DON’T FEED THE FISH!

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  What?  Canned cat food on the reef?!   We came upon this diving one morning at Kahe Point recently.  Obviously it had been used to attract fish – perhaps by spear fisherman.    Despite increased public awareness against feeding, we also still frequently see tour group operators attracting fish by feeding, especially at Kahe Point and […]

my favorite alien-like marine creature

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There are countless alien-like marine creatures out there that captivate even the most impassive of souls. However, the creature that ultimately stole my heart was the majestic manta ray. Some weighing in at whopping 3,000 lbs, manta rays are the largest of the rays and are closely related to sharks. Unlike its cousin, the sting […]

There’s More In The Ocean Than Meets The Eye!

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Discovered in 1977 during a research expedition in the Arabian Sea, Synechococcus (and later Prochlorococcus in the Sargasso Sea) are two species of cyanobacteria that collectively, are the most abundant organisms on earth (Waterbury, 2005).  These photosynthetic picoplankton grow no larger than 2 micrometers, yet despite their seemingly insignificant stature, play an essential role in […]