Toxins from Harmful Algae Found in Bull Sharks of Florida’s Indian River Lagoon

The Indian River Lagoon (IRL) is a bull shark nursery habitat crucial to survival and recruitment of Atlantic coast bull sharks. Analysis of 123 samples found the presence of one or more phycotoxin from harmful algal blooms in 82 percent of the bull sharks and their prey items. Findings highlight the potential threat of toxic algae to the IRL’s ecosystem and surrounding human populations that may consume the same prey species. The highest concentrations of most toxins were detected in gut content samples, highlighting dietary exposure as an important mechanism of toxin transfer to bull sharks in the system.

New Device Can Measure Toxic Lead Within Minutes

Rutgers researchers have created a miniature device for measuring trace levels of toxic lead in sediments at the bottom of harbors, rivers and other waterways within minutes – far faster than currently available laboratory-based tests, which take days. The affordable lab-on-a-chip device could also allow municipalities, water companies, universities, K-12 schools, daycares and homeowners to easily and swiftly test their water supplies. The research is published in the IEEE Sensors Journal.

Bacteria Can Defuse Dangerous Chemical In Passaic River

Bacteria that can help defuse highly toxic dioxin in sediments in the Passaic River – a Superfund hazardous waste site – could eventually aid cleanup efforts at other dioxin-contaminated sites around the world, according to Rutgers scientists. Their research, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, needs further work to realize the full potential of the beneficial bottom-dwelling microbes.

Seafood Products Made From Cells Should be Labeled Cell-Based

Companies seeking to commercialize seafood products made from the cells of fish or shellfish should use the term “cell-based” on product labels, according to a Rutgers study – the first of its kind – in the Journal of Food Science. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture require food products to have a “common or usual name” on their labels so consumers can make informed choices about what they’re purchasing.