SETAC MultiBrief
Nov. 26, 2014

A lifesaving transplant for coral reefs
The New York Times
David Vaughan plunges his right arm down to his elbow into one of nine elevated tanks where thousands of tiny colonies of coral are growing at an astonishing rate in shaded seclusion next to the Mote Tropical Research Laboratory. A year ago the colony began as inch-and-a-half-wide coral fragments cut with a band saw from the same parent colony. As if doused with a growth elixir, these coral "seeds" began to grow 25 times as fast as they would in the wild.More

Pharmaceuticals found in water-fish-osprey food web
Science Nutshell
A recent U.S. Geological Survey and Baylor University study demonstrated that ospreys (Pandion haliaetus, or commonly, fish eating hawks or eagles) do not carry significant amounts of human pharmaceutical chemicals, though these chemicals are prevalent in water. This finding published in Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management is the first published study that examines the bioaccumulation of pharmaceuticals in the water-fish-osprey food web. More

Death by dirty water: Storm runoff a risk for fish
The Associated Press via Yahoo
Just hours into the experiment, the prognosis was grim for salmon that had been submerged in rain runoff collected from one of Seattle's busiest highways. One by one, the fish were removed from a tank filled with coffee-colored water and inspected: They were rigid. Their typically red gills were gray. This was the fate of coho salmon exposed to the everyday toxic brew of dirt, metals, oil and other gunk that washes off highway pavement after rains and directly into Puget Sound. When that runoff was filtered through a simple mixture of gravel, sand and compost, however, the outlook was much brighter. More

5 national parks in 7 days: The ultimate US road trip
Southern Utah sports five showoff national parks, and that brings up a question for time-crunched travelers: Which should I see? Zion’s cliff-enclosed canyon? Hoodoo-filled Bryce Canyon? Capitol Reef's soaring rock faces? A carved plateau at Canyonlands? Funky formations at Arches? More

North American lakes 'jellify' as calcium levels decline
Science World Report
Your lakes may be turning into jelly. Scientists have found that as calcium levels continue to decline in soft-water lakes, certain organisms are also disappearing and being replaced by jelly-like creatures. Due to prolonged periods of acid rain and timber harvesting, may soft-water lakes in North America are experiencing declining calcium levels. This, in turn, has caused ecosystems to shift. The animals that have calcium requirements, such as the water flea Daphnia, are being replaced by other animals. More

Survey says! Top PPCP research questions identified by environmental scientists
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are a hot topic in environmental science. Trace PPCP chemicals end up in the environment, after being disposed of in sewage and other waste systems. From synthetic estrogens that feminize male fish to concerns about resistance to antibiotics, this is a growing area of research and public attention. Yet many potential and long-term effects on human and ecosystem health remain largely unknown. More

Funding loss clouds future for Kemp's ridley sea turtles
Valley Morning Star
Until recently in Texas, the Kemp's ridley sea turtle population was rebounding so well that scientists and conservationists fully expected the animal to swap its "endangered" status for "threatened" in the very near future — and possibly be taken off the Endangered Species list altogether by 2020. According to Pamela Plotkin, director of Texas Sea Grant, the turtle's numbers had been growing 12 to 17 percent each year thanks to conservation efforts, with population models projecting the same upward trend for the foreseeable future.More

Not quite natural: The science behind pumpkin spice
It probably won't surprise you that there isn't any pumpkin or any spice in your pumpkin spice latte — or pumpkin spice Greek yogurt, pumpkin spice M&Ms or pumpkin spice vodka. Instead of the nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla you'll find in a pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice has something more synthetic.More

DDT lingers in Michigan town
Science News
Decades after a chemical plant spewed DDT throughout St. Louis, Michigan, the harmful insecticide lingers, reaching acutely toxic levels in birds and their eggs, researchers reported November 13 at the annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Led by environmental toxicologist Matt Zwiernik of Michigan State University in East Lansing, researchers found that the town's birds suffer from seizures and lesions, and had extremely low survival rates.More

Small volcanic eruptions could be slowing global warming
American Geophysical Union via Science Daily
Small volcanic eruptions might eject more of an atmosphere-cooling gas into Earth's upper atmosphere than previously thought, potentially contributing to the recent slowdown in global warming, according to a recent study. More