Research Report: Plastic found in ‘Garbage Patch’ fish

Lynne Friedmann is a science writer based in Solana Beach.

By Lynne Friedmann

The first scientific results from a 2009 Scripps Institution of Oceanography voyage to the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre offer a stark view of human pollution of an area of the ocean, labeled the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” where debris is highly dispersed across thousands of miles.

Two graduate students with the Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition (SEAPLEX), found evidence of plastic waste in more than nine percent of the stomachs of fish collected during the research voyage.

Of the 141 fishes spanning 27 species dissected in the study, 9.2 percent of the stomach contents of mid-water fishes were found to contain plastic debris, primarily broken-down bits smaller than a human fingernail. Based on this evidence, it is estimated that fish in the intermediate ocean depths of the North Pacific ingest plastic at a rate of 12,000 to 24,000 tons per year.

The results appear in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series. News release at bit.ly/jd7nTm.

Nanoparticles disguised
A novel method of disguising nanoparticles as red blood cells enables them to evade the body’s immune system in order to deliver cancer-fighting drugs straight to a tumor.

The method, developed by UCSD researchers, involves wrapping the membrane of a red blood cell around a biodegradable polymer nanoparticle containing a cocktail of small-molecule drugs.

Stealth nanoparticles, coated in synthetic material such as polyethylene glycol, are already being used successfully in clinical cancer treatment to deliver chemotherapy drugs. The coating creates a protection layer to suppress the immune system giving the nanoparticle time to deliver its payload. Synthetically coated nanoparticles can, however, only circulate in the body for a few hours. n the new study, nanoparticles cloaked in the membranes of red blood cells circulated in the bodies of lab mice for nearly two days without being attacked by the immune system.

The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. News release at bit.ly/l3Ig0D.

Flavonoids lessen diabetic complications

Research at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies suggests that a naturally occurring flavonoid (known as fisetin), found in fruits and vegetables, lessens the complications of diabetes.

In plants, flavonoids act as sunscreens and protect leaves and fruit from insects. As foods, they are implicated in the protective effect of the Mediterranean Diet. Researchers reasoned that, like other flavonoids, fisetin might improve a spectrum of disorders seen in diabetic patients.

Using mice bred to exhibit human type 1 diabetes, researchers fed the animals a fisetin-enriched diet. While the mice remained diabetic acute kidney enlargement associated with type 1 diabetes was reversed, high urine protein levels (a sure sign of kidney disease) fell, and other complications were ameliorated.

By the way, the most abundant source of fisetin is strawberries. The findings appear in the online journal PLoS ONE. News release at bit.ly/jJur1v.

Related posts:

  1. Research Report: Computers aid in design of anti-flu virus proteins
  2. Research Report: Nanoparticles improve survival after blood loss
  3. Research Report: Genes found that cause toxic accumulation in plants
  4. Research Report: Study may help in studying atmosphere
  5. Research Report: Ever heard of the ‘couch potato mouse’?

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=46271

Posted by Staff on Jul 20, 2011. Filed under Columns, Health & Science, Research Report. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Local camp shapes Solana Beach youth into community leaders July 28, 2014
    After attending the inaugural La Colonia de Eden Gardens Youth Leadership Camp last year, Edgar Vergara was inspired to make positive change in Solana Beach’s Eden Gardens community. Along with other local teens, the 15-year-old co-founded the youth group La Colonia Changers and recently hosted a town hall forum on underage drinking. Passionate about making […]
  • Del Mar Union School District approves new contract for superintendent July 28, 2014
    The Del Mar Union School District Board July 23 approved the new contract for Superintendent Holly McClurg through June 30, 2018. Per the contract, McClurg’s annual salary will be $185,000 with an annual doctoral stipend of $10,000. She will receive a car allowance of $400 a month, 25 vacation days, health benefits and a retirement contribution of $700 a mon […]
  • Carmel Valley 5K and 10K to hit Gonzales Canyon trails in September July 28, 2014
    A new trail running race is coming to Carmel Valley this fall. Jeff Stoner of Del Mar’s Seasick Marketing visited the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board to update the board on the plans for the Carmel Valley Trail 5K and 10K Run, set to take place on Sept. 20. A portion of race proceeds will go toward the Challenged Athletes Foundation. […]