SETAC MultiBrief
Sep. 3, 2015

Frogs mount speedy defense against pesticide threat
Several species of frogs can quickly switch on genetic resistance to a group of commonly used pesticides. In one case, wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) were able to deploy such defenses in just one generation after exposure to contaminated environments, scientists reported at a conference of the Ecological Society of America in Baltimore, Maryland. This is the first-known example of a vertebrate species developing pesticide resistance through a process called phenotypic plasticity, in which the expression of some genes changes in response to environmental pressure1. It does not involve changes to the genes themselves, which often take many generations to evolve.More

Rena disaster huge but environmental effects not long-lasting
The 2011 grounding of the container ship Rena on Astrolabe Reef near Tauranga, New Zealand, brought about one of the world's most tricky and costly wreck recoveries ever, a science conference in Nelson has heard. But it wrought very little long-term environmental damage, scientists reported.More

Sunlight activates smog-causing chemicals in city grime
Scientific American
In recent years big cities have seen lower rates of crime. But there's still plenty of grime. Combustion from cars, factories and fires spews out nitrogen oxides. Those compounds react with sunlight and air to form ozone — the main ingredient in smog. And certain nitrogen oxides called nitrates — same stuff you find in fertilizer — also settle onto buildings and other city surfaces. Scientists figured that was the end of the story.More

The American West is full of old mines threatening to pollute waterways
Earlier in August, when clean-up efforts led by the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally resulted in a spill of millions of gallons of wastewater from a century-old mine into the Animas River of Colorado, it turned the water orange and alerted the nation to a problem in the West: There are tens of thousands of mines with the same potential. More

Explore your own backyard: Things to do in Salt Lake City
Chances are you haven't visited all the fun attractions in the Salt Lake area — even if you grew up in or near Salt Lake. For many, it's not a matter of not wanting to try new things or visit new places, rather, it's not knowing what's around to do. More

Many scientific studies can't be replicated; that's a problem
The Washington Post
Maverick researchers have long argued that much of what gets published in elite scientific journals is fundamentally squishy — that the results tell a great story but can't be reproduced when the experiments are run a second time. Now a volunteer army of fact-checkers has published a new report that affirms that the skepticism was warranted. Over the course of four years, 270 researchers attempted to reproduce the results of 100 experiments that had been published in three prestigious psychology journals. More

Pink salmon at risk of acidification in oceans and freshwater with CO2 increases from climate change
Science World Report
Pink salmon may be more affected by ocean acidification than other species. Researchers have found that salmon that being life in freshwater with high concentrations are carbon dioxide are smaller and may be less likely to survive. In this latest study, the scientists examined how baby salmon respond to fresh and ocean water with levels of carbon dioxide expected 100 years in the future. The researchers monitored the salmon for 10 weeks from before they hatched to after the time they would migrate to ocean water. More

Ocean pollution: 60 percent of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs
Nature World News
While plastic waste tossed into oceans is a known concern, a recent study brings it home to the effect plastic is having on seabirds. That is, researchers say that roughly 90 percent of live seabirds have consumed plastic, and that about 60 percent of these birds have plastic in their bellies. In previous fieldwork, study co-author Denise Hardesty, at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, found nearly 200 pieces of plastic in a single seabird. More

Climate change could push these tiny marine organisms to evolve — irreversibly
The Washington Post
Human activities are causing plenty of obvious changes to the world's oceans, from mounds of garbage accumulating on the seafloor to bleached coral reefs killed by rising water temperatures. But other equally dramatic changes are happening on a level too small for the human eye to see. A new study in Nature Communications finds that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the ocean — the result of human greenhouse gas emissions — could have a major effect on microscopic marine organisms known as cyanobacteria, better known as blue-green algae. More