Red Tide

Karenia brevis is the scientific name for a single-celled marine dinoflagellate known for its toxicity, which can manifest in high concentrations as a “red tide.” This dinoflagellate and the red tides that it produces are not new. Ocean waters are home to many dinoflagellates and other types of plankton. The problem arises when populations become…

Can fish get fat?

Without fail, this time of year makes many of us turn to New Year’s Resolutions of better eating habits, weight loss, and improved exercise regimes. We want to shed our post-holiday pounds but have you ever wondered if fish can get fat as well?

The New GenX: A Tale of Water Pollution

Guest Author: Susanne Brander People in Wilmington, NC have stopped drinking water, from the tap that is, even though we have a water treatment facility, renovated just a few years ago, that boasts of the “latest and most innovative treatment technologies” on its website. Facebook has become dominated by parents exchanging opinions on reverse-osmosis filtration…

How climate impacts microorganisms and why we should care

By: Dana Sackett As Earth Day approaches, it seems timely to pause and examine some of the natural processes that enable life on Earth.  Remarkably, this big topic requires us to take a look at some of the smallest organisms on the planet.  Microorganisms (or organisms that cannot be seen with the naked eye such…

Drought and pollution

By: Dana Sackett As an environmental scientist I can honestly say that I am very concerned for the future of our planet and ourselves.  I cannot emphasize enough the reality of climate change, that it is human-caused (and therefore that we can do something about it), and that we definitely need to do something about…

Zebrafish help show how ‘BPA-free’ is misleading

By: Dana Sackett Zebrafish are small freshwater fish that originated in rivers from India. These fish share important biological properties with all vertebrates that make them useful in understanding how contaminants may impact other vertebrates in the environment, including ourselves. Logistically they are also useful because they are easy to maintain in aquariums, and they…

Estrogens may be feminizing a waterway near you

By: Dana Sackett “Clutching the bottle of water I had just collected from the Pee Dee River, I climbed the steep embankment back to our truck wondering how much estrogen we would find in our sample. We spent the better part of a month driving across North Carolina to examine a suite of chemicals called…