Double Threat: Toxic Arsenic and Climate Change Plummet Rice Production

Half of the world’s population depends on rice. We’ve studied how rice will respond to predicted changes in climate. But do we know how it will also interact with one of its most common pollutants? Researchers study how rice responds to the dual stressors of both climate change and arsenic, and ultimately find that arsenic may be the stressor we should be worried about.

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It’s all in the genes: how water pollution keeps silver carp at bay.

Silver carp are a notorious invasive fish that are spreading throughout the Mississippi River Basin. Despite their rapid-fire range expansion, silver carp have yet to make it to the Great Lakes. A recent study explores the possibility that polluted Chicago-area waters may be preventing the spread of silver carp into Lake Michigan and beyond.

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Streamside Vegetation Can Capture Pesticides

Blueberries and other crops are being impacted in the Pacific northwest by a new invasive species. Pesticide use to combat this problem may impact nearby aquatic life. Researchers studied agriculture areas with and without woody vegetation along stream banks to understand if they could play a role in keeping pesticides out of streams. Sites with woody vegetation reduced 96% of pesticide measured in the stream on average compared to sites without. Increasing woody vegetation next to streams could help farmers fight off invasive species while still protecting water quality.

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Pesticides and Fertilizers: A toxic relationship that is stressful for frogs

Large-scale agriculture utilizes a myriad of chemicals to increase crop yields and profits. The effects of these chemical mixtures can be unpredictable once they are introduced into the environment, especially when interacting with vulnerable animal groups like amphibians.

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A mosquito’s feet think you stink: Researchers discover what makes DEET the most effective insect repellent on the market

When covered in widely used insect repellent DEET, a mosquito’s mouth thinks you are good enough to eat. But their legs would beg to differ. A recent study by scientist at Rockefeller University finally explains why DEET is the most effective bug repellent.

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Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products Alter Lake Food Webs

The pharmaceutical and personal care products we use daily enter aquatic environments. Phytoplankton, or microscopic algae, are important pieces of the aquatic food chain. Phytoplankton exposed to pharmaceutical and personal care products in two Norwegian lakes responded quickly and dramatically – altering their community structure. The effects of these compounds on phytoplankton suggest these compounds have the potential to alter the food webs of entire aquatic ecosystems.

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Acetaminophen: Soaked Up By Our Finned Friends

What is the fate of acetaminophen once your headache is gone? It usually travels to the nearest lake or river where unsuspecting fish come in contact with it. While it may be a life saver for you, acetaminophen can produce detrimental effects in fish that are unlucky enough to have crossed its path.

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