Fish can detox too—but not so well, when it comes to mercury

phys.org | 11/20/2018 | Staff
tanikaki (Posted by) Level 3
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It takes six months to get really good at accurately gauging the age of yelloweye rockfish. Because they can live for up to 120 years, this species is of particular interest to Benjamin Barst and scientists like him who study the effects of toxic chemicals on living organisms. Over the course of their lifetime, the fish can accumulate high levels of mercury and other trace elements in their tissues. But it wasn't known how much of those elements accumulate in sensitive sites within yelloweye cells. So Barst, a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University's Department of Natural Resource Sciences, set out for Alaska's Inside Passage in search of answers. The results are to be found in a paper published in this month's issue of Environmental Pollution.

The research team collected eight yelloweye, weighing up to 8.8 kilograms, from the waters of Alaska's Inside Passage on a sport fishing vessel called the Pheasant Plucker. The fish's livers were removed and tissue samples immediately frozen so they could be analyzed later at laboratory facilities back in Quebec City and Montreal.

Tissues - Level - Researchers - Yelloweye - Elements

By examining the tissues at a subcellular level, the researchers discovered yelloweye were able to immobilize several potentially toxic elements within their liver tissues (cadmium, lead, and arsenic) thus preventing them from interacting with sensitive parts of the cell. But...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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