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Newcomers play cryptic
Invasive species can put native animal and plant species on the brink of extinction. They often go undetected for a long time, or their damaging impacts are not immediately clear. This phenomenon - referred to as crypticity - represents a huge challenge for the management of species communities and the conservation of biodiversity. This is the conclusion of an international team of researchers. (2019-01-24)

Researchers remove harmful hormones from Las Vegas wastewater using green algae
A common species of freshwater green algae is capable of removing certain endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) from wastewater, according to new research from the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Las Vegas. In a new study published in the journal Environmental Pollution, DRI researchers Xuelian Bai, Ph.D., and Kumud Acharya, Ph.D., explore the potential for use of a species of freshwater green algae called Nannochloris to remove EDCs from treated wastewater. (2019-04-08)

Contagious cancer in shellfish is spreading across the Atlantic Ocean
By learning how contagious cancer spread among shellfish, scientists hope to better understand how cancer metastasizes in people. (2019-11-27)

Plastic pollution causes mussels to lose grip
A new study shows that microplastics are affecting the ability of mussels to attach themselves to their surroundings -- potentially having a devastating impact on ocean ecosystems as well as a worldwide industry worth between 3-4 billion US dollars per year. (2019-01-29)

Mercury levels are increasing in popular species of game fish in Lake Erie
Mercury levels in a popular species of game fish in Lake Erie are increasing after two decades of steady decline, scientists are reporting. The study, the most comprehensive to date on mercury levels in Great Lakes fish, is in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology, a semimonthly journal. (2010-07-14)

Genetic variation gives mussels a chance to adapt to climate change
Existing genetic variation in natural populations of Mediterranean mussels allows them to adapt to declining pH levels in seawater caused by carbon emissions. A new study by biologists from the University of Chicago shows that mussels raised in a low pH experimental environment grew smaller shells than those grown at normal pH levels, but the overall survival rate of mussels grown under both conditions was the same. (2019-12-20)

Metal pollution in British waters may be threatening scallops, study reveals
Research, led by an interdisciplinary team at the University of York, suggests that the contamination of Isle of Man seabed sediments with zinc, lead and copper from the mining of these metals, which peaked on the island in the late 19th century, is causing the shells of king scallops to become significantly more brittle (2020-11-05)

Contamination by metals can increase metabolic stress in mussels
The researchers propose that this evidence should be used as input to public policy with the aim of mitigating the impacts of human activities on coastal and marine ecosystems. (2019-12-04)

Elevated water temperature and acidity boost growth of key sea star species: UBC researchers
New research by UBC zoologists indicates that elevated water temperatures and heightened concentrations of carbon dioxide can dramatically increase the growth rate of a keystone species of sea star. (2009-06-01)

White line of algae deaths marks uplift in 2016 Chilean earthquake
A bleached fringe of dead marine algae, strung along the coastlines of two islands off the coast of Chile, offers a unique glimpse at how the land rose during the 2016 magnitude 7.6 ChiloƩ earthquake, according to a new study in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. (2018-11-06)

Ocean growing more acidic faster than once thought
University of Chicago scientists have documented that the ocean is growing more acidic faster than previously thought. In addition, they have found that the increasing acidity correlates with increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The increasingly acidic water harms certain sea animals and could reduce the ocean's ability to absorb carbon dioxide. (2008-11-24)

New technique could help regrow tissue lost to periodontal disease
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all Americans will have periodontal disease at some point in their lives. Characterized by inflamed gums and bone loss around teeth, the condition can cause bad breath, toothache, tender gums and, in severe cases, tooth loss. Now, in ACS Nano, researchers report development of a membrane that helps periodontal tissue regenerate when implanted into the gums of rats. (2019-03-21)

New electrodes could increase efficiency of electric vehicles and aircraft
The rise in popularity of electric vehicles and aircraft presents the possibility of moving away from fossil fuels toward a more sustainable future. While significant technological advancements have dramatically increased the efficiency of these vehicles, there are still several issues standing in the way of widespread adoption. (2019-11-22)

Size is key in predicting how calcifying organisms will respond to ocean acidification
New research suggests size is the main factor that predicts how calcifying organisms will respond to ocean acidification. (2018-07-26)

Mussels add muscle to biocompatible fibers
Rice University chemists use the sticky substance found in mussels to develop self-assembling, biocompatible macroscale fibers that can be used as scaffolds for directed cell growth. (2017-06-09)

Freshwater mussel shells were material of choice for prehistoric craftsmen
An international team of researchers, including academics from the University of York, have discovered that 6000-years-ago people across Europe shared a cultural tradition of using freshwater mussel shells to craft ornaments. (2019-05-07)

Taking a tip from mussels to make materials both strong and flexible
A network of loosely-linked polymers mimicking a mussel's adhesive qualities offers a way to make materials that are both strong and flexible, elements that have been widely sought but hard to produce. (2017-10-26)

Herbivores help protect ecosystems from climate change
Plant-eating critters are the key ingredient to helping ecosystems survive global warming, finds new UBC research that offers some hope for a defence strategy against climate change. (2017-10-11)

Toxins from freshwater algae found in San Francisco Bay shellfish
Scientists have detected high levels of a toxin produced by freshwater algae in mussels from San Francisco Bay. Although shellfish harvested from California's coastal waters are monitored for toxins produced by marine algae, they are not routinely tested for this freshwater toxin, called microcystin. (2016-10-26)

New research recovers nutrients from seafood process water
Process waters from the seafood industry contain valuable nutrients, that could be used in food or aquaculture feed. But currently, these process waters are treated as waste. Now, a research project from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, shows the potential of recycling these nutrients back into the food chain. (2018-10-31)

GVSU researchers draw link between zebra mussels, risk of algae blooms
Researchers at Grand Valley State University's Annis Water Resources Institute are learning more about the impact invasive zebra mussels and native aquatic insect larvae have on the risk of algae blooms in two West Michigan lakes. (2014-02-12)

Do mussels reveal the fate of the oceans?
Prior research has suggested that mussels are a robust indicator of plastic debris and particles in marine environments. A new study says that's not the case because mussels are picky eaters and have an inherent ability to choose and sort their food. Instead, the researchers have discovered that marine aggregates also called ''marine snow,'' play a much bigger role in the fate of the oceans when it comes to plastic debris. (2018-10-23)

Zebra mussels hang on while quagga mussels take over
The zebra mussels that have wreaked ecological havoc on the Great Lakes are harder to find these days -- not because they are dying off, but because they are being replaced by a cousin, the quagga mussel. But zebra mussels still dominate in fast-moving streams and rivers. (2009-06-12)

Fracking wastewater accumulation found in freshwater mussels' shells
Elevated concentrations of strontium, an element associated with oil and gas wastewaters, have accumulated in the shells of freshwater mussels downstream from fracking wastewater disposal sites, according to researchers from Penn State and Union College. (2018-10-22)

Mussels evolve quickly to defend against invasive crabs
Scientists at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) have found that invasive crab species may precipitate evolutionary change in blue mussels in as little as 15 years. The study, by UNH graduate student Aaren Freeman with Associate Professor of Zoology James Byers, and published in the Aug. 11 issue of the journal Science, indicates that such a response can evolve in an evolutionary nanosecond compared to the thousands of years previously assumed. (2006-08-10)

Invasive species short-circuiting benefits from mercury reduction in the Great Lakes
According to a new study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 40 years of reduced mercury use, emissions, and loading in the Great Lakes region have largely not produced equivalent declines in the amount of mercury accumulating in large game fish. (2019-11-04)

Mussels are inspiring new technology that could help purify water and clean up oil spills
Mussels are notorious maritime stowaways known for damaging the hulls of boats, but these same adhesive properties have widespread engineering applications, scientists in China and the United states write in review published July 10 in the journal Matter. They suggest that the chemistry of mussel threads is inspiring engineering innovations that address a wide range of problems, from cleaning up oil spills to treating contaminated water. (2019-07-10)

UT Arlington zebra mussels expert to receive national recognition
UT Arlington biology professor emeritus Robert McMahon, widely known for his research of invasive zebra mussels, will receive the National Invasive Species Council's Lifetime Achievement Award Feb. 22-28 in Washington, D.C. (2015-02-17)

Invasive species on the march: variable rates of spread set current limits to predictability
Whether for introduced muskrats in Europe or oak trees in the United Kingdom, zebra mussels in United States lakes or agricultural pests around the world, scientists have tried to find new ways of controlling invasive species by learning how these animals and plants take over in new environs. (2009-09-17)

Modeling invasive activity: Zebra mussels' infiltration of North American rivers
The invasion of nonnative species has widespread and detrimental effects on local and global ecosystems. These intruders often spread and multiply prolifically, displace native species, alter the intended interactions between flora and fauna, and damage the environment and economy. In a paper publishing in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, Qihua Huang, Hao Wang, and Mark Lewis present a continuous-discrete hybrid population model that describes the invasive dynamics of zebra mussels in North American rivers. (2017-05-25)

Sea otters' tool use leaves behind distinctive archaeological evidence
An international team of researchers has analyzed the use by sea otters of large, shoreline rocks as 'anvils' to break open shells, as well as the resulting shell middens. The researchers used ecological and archaeological approaches to identify patterns that are characteristic of sea otter use of such locations. By looking at evidence of past anvil stone use, scientists could better understand sea otter habitat use. (2019-03-14)

Global marine analysis suggests food chain collapse
A world-first global analysis of marine responses to climbing human CO2 emissions has painted a grim picture of future fisheries and ocean ecosystems. (2015-10-12)

Infectious cancer in mussels spread across the Atlantic
An infectious cancer that originated in 1 species of mussel growing in the Northern Hemisphere has spread to related mussels in South America and Europe, says a new study published today in eLife. (2019-11-05)

Deep-sea bacteria copy their neighbors' diet
A new group of symbiotic bacteria in deep-sea mussels surprises with the way they fix carbon: They use the Calvin cycle to turn carbon into tasty food. The bacteria acquired the genes for this process from neighboring symbiotic bacteria in the mussel. These results from a recent study by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, now published in ISME Journal, call into question our current understanding of carbon fixation pathways in the deep sea. (2019-11-19)

Many cooks don't spoil the broth: Manifold symbionts prepare the host for any eventuality
Deep-sea mussels, which rely on symbiotic bacteria for food, harbor a surprisingly high diversity of these bacterial 'cooks': Up to 16 different bacterial strains live in the mussel's gills, each with its own abilities and strengths. Thanks to this diversity, the mussel is prepared for all eventualities, researchers around Rebecca Ansorge and Nicole Dubilier from the Max-Planck-Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen and Jillian Petersen from the University of Vienna now report in Nature Microbiology. (2019-10-15)

Study Shows Zebra Mussels Can Colonize Sand And Mud
Researchers have found that zebra mussels have built colonies on the sandy and muddy bottom of Lake Erie, a habitat previously thought incapable of supporting the animals. Since debut in the mid-1980s, researchers believed that these bivalves could only colonize hard, underwater surfaces such as rocks, clams and runoff pipes. (1998-05-06)

Environmental change impacts Oklahoma rivers
Biodiversity in freshwater systems is impacted as much or more by environmental change than tropical rain forests, according to University of Oklahoma Professor Caryn Vaughn, who serves as director of the Oklahoma Biological Survey. (2010-01-26)

UTA biologist to expand study of invasive zebra mussels in Texas lakes
A professor emeritus in biology from the University of Texas at Arlington who is an esteemed expert in freshwater and marine invertebrates is expanding his research into the spread of invasive zebra mussels into Texas lakes. (2016-10-07)

Invasive round gobies may be poised to decimate endangered French Creek mussels
The round goby -- a small, extremely prolific, invasive fish from Europe -- poses a threat to endangered freshwater mussels in northwestern Pennsylvania's French Creek, one of the last strongholds for two species of mussels, according to researchers. (2019-04-01)

Gimme shelter: Seven new leech species call freshwater mussels home
The frequent presence of leeches with a hidden lifestyle in the mantle cavity of freshwater mussels has been recorded since the second half of the 19th century. Yet this was, until now, regarded as an accidental phenomenon. Recent research not only reveals seven mussel-associated leech species new to science, but also shows that their association evolved over millions of years. (2019-11-11)

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