Marine researchers are focusing on the victims of the Orange County oil spill

The worst oil spill in decades, oil-laden birds, fish are dying, and wetlands are being flooded. But these images show only a small part of the story, say researchers.

Although much of the public’s attention is focused on the future generations of large whales, portfolios, seals, turtles and migratory birds, the focus of many researchers is now on scientists’ microbiome.

In the marine ecosystems, small and micro-organisms, which form the basis of the food web, are the dominant rulers. It begins with turbulent waves and bacterial colonies, swamps, cracks, and swamps. Then there will be single-celled animals feeding on colonies, and large predators will feed on them.

Yolewa Lam, a microbiologist at UC Irvin, will collect seawater for testing on Newport Beach on Wednesday.

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Now, the big question in laboratories from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to UC Irvin is: What has been the impact on viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae spores, zooplankton, fish eggs and larvae less than a quarter of an inch?

The laboratories’ findings shed light on the long-term environmental damage and fossil fuel addiction in the country.

“When it comes to the long-term effects of petroleum products on marine life, size is a factor,” said John Indordo, a researcher at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center at Noah’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center. “Small creatures get big. Liver and liver mature animals are generally not exposed to the toxic effects of fuel.

Scientific efforts to understand how the oil spills off the coast of Southern California suddenly became the subject of a study at UC Irwin, where microbiologist Jolewa Lam and her student collected and analyzed and cataloged pollutants, sizes, and concentrations of contaminants in nearby Newport Bay. .

A large piece of kelp is being prepared for study at the UC Irvin Laboratory.

On Wednesday, a giant kelp will be prepared for sampling at the UC Irvin Laboratory.

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

“Every ecosystem on earth — from the human gut to the oceans and swamps — has been colonized by microbiome, which is essential for its safety and health,” said Lam. And that’s the biggest and long-lasting effect of oil spills on the oceans – the microbes that produce half the oxygen we breathe and destroy organic matter.

Ron Tejerdema, a biologist at UC Davis and an expert on toxic biochemical mechanisms in marine and freshwater systems, calls these hazards ‘oil spills’. This is because the overall health of the ecosystem starts at a very low level. ”

“Oil literally contains a thousand or more chemical compounds, from the largest parts of asphalt to the smallest and most toxic carbon molecules,” he said. Microbes, from viruses to bacteria, have the ability to protect these compounds and even to break down food.

“So it is very important to study the microbial world,” he added. This is because oil recycling is an important part of the natural process and the recycling of hydrocarbons.

A woman in a protective suit looks under a microscope in a laboratory

Postgraduate researcher Andrea Paz-Lacavex looks at kelp through a microscope at the UC Irvin Laboratory on Wednesday.

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

For fish, oil spills are associated with heart problems and abnormalities in the fetal sacs. By studying the effects of the 2010 BP oil spill on the Blue Fina Tuna in the Gulf of Mexico, a polyclinic fraction hydrocarbons, or PHs, blocked the “signal lines” of potassium and calcium ions in and out of the heart. Maintains cell membrane and normal heart rate.

Even a very small amount of oil can disturb these signaling pathways, slowing the heart rate. Their research suggests that PAH cardiotoxicity may be a common cause of damage to ocean ecosystems.

A woman on the beach holds plastic bottles

Student researcher Andrea Paz-Lacvex has collected seawater for testing on Newport Beach.

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

On Wednesday, Cow and the team wore laboratory gowns, pulled on rubber gloves and adjusted their safety goggles in preparation for experiments to understand how climate change, heat waves, geography, ocean waves and current oil pollution are already endangering southern California. Forests, such as complex flowers, fish, crabs, snails, herons, bicycles, and anemones that hide complex ecosystems.

One of the experiments was designed to test how oil affects the early stages of Kelp’s development in carefully monitored bodies of water. Another involves examining surface surfaces from adult kebele samples and identifying the chemical composition and DNA signatures of their microbial communities, which may indicate potential differences in marine ecological processes.

Julia Lam, right, assistant professor of ecological evolution

UCC Irvin microbiologist Jolewa Lam, right, and other researchers Andrea Paz-Lacavex, Center and Phoebe Dantanti Dawkins collect seawater to test on Newport Beach.

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

After pouring, many properties of kelp and kelp spores make the pinch size perfect for scientific research. They include the ability to absorb kelp nutrients and organic ions in seawater and concentrate in tissues.

In addition, the kebele-eating creatures include fish, which are eaten by sea lions. Another concern is that the essential oils of Kelp Friends and soybeans can be overweight, preventing them from absorbing enough sunlight to complete their life cycles.

It remains to be seen whether the liquidation will somehow weaken the long-awaited UCI grant for kebele rehabilitation efforts.

“There are many unknowns,” said the Lamb.

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