The Mystery Of Alaska's Sea Otter Deaths Continue To Baffle Scientists

An unusually high number of sick or dying sea otters has washed onto the shores of Alaska’s southern coast this year. But despite the efforts of many baffled scientists to find an answer, the exact cause of the die-off remains unknown. More than 250 sick or dead sea otters have turned up on beaches in the Kachemak Bay region this year. Joel Garlich-Miller, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, told Hakai Magazine that this number is more than double 2014’s -- which had already been a “higher than average” figure. Based on the symptoms of the otters that have been found, scientists believe something peculiar may be plaguing the animals. Preliminary tests suggest that toxins from harmful algal blooms and infections caused by bacteria might be contributing to the otter deaths; but given the spike in morbidity, another as-yet-unknown factor is also suspected. “Something is hitting them harder and faster, in addition to the disease that we’re familiar with seeing, something else seems to be involved,” Marc Webber of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, told Alaska Public Media last month. “That’s just speculation, we don’t have any evidence yet, but that’s what we’re seeing on the beach.” Compounding this mystery, reports say that while some dead otters were found emaciated, indicative of a long illness; some of them appear to have died suddenly at a healthy weight, which is &ldqu...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news

Related Links:

Publication date: Available online 18 July 2019Source: Materials Chemistry and PhysicsAuthor(s): Mihaela Deaconu, Lucia Pintilie, Eugeniu Vasile, Raul-Augustin Mitran, Gratiela Gradisteanu Pircalabioru, Cristian Matei, Mariana Carmen Chifiriuc, Daniela BergerAbstractMesoporous MCM-type silica (pristine and vinyl functionalized MCM-41, as well as MCM-48) materials were employed as carriers for norfloxacin, a poorly-water soluble antibiotic from the fluroquinolones class. Small MCM-41 nanoparticles were obtained by a new synthesis procedure that afforded the formation of spherical particles of around 60 nm diameter with larg...
Source: Materials Chemistry and Physics - Category: Materials Science Source Type: research
We report the crystal structure of TSP2 in complex with a repeating unit of the O157 O-antigen. We demonstrate that according to the specificity of its tailspikes TSP2, TSP3, and TSP4, CBA120 can infect E. coli O157, O77, and O78, respectively. We also show that CBA120 infects Salmonella enterica serovar Minnesota and this host range expansion is likely due to the function of TSP1. Finally, we describe the assembly pathway and the architecture of the TSP1-TSP2-TSP3-TSP4 branched complex in CBA120 and its related ViI-like phages.Graphical abstract
Source: Journal of Molecular Biology - Category: Molecular Biology Source Type: research
Authors: Rodriguez CH, Maza J, Tamarin S, Nastro M, Vay C, Famiglietti A Abstract A rapid colorimetric method, the Andrade Screening Antimicrobial Test (ASAT) was evaluated to detect colistin resistance in Enterobacteriales clinical isolates. The sensitivity and specificity were 90.7% and 100%, respectively. In 10/26 E. coli isolates the automatized method failed to detect the resistance, whereas the ASAT detected it accurately. Most of these isolates showed COL MIC values in the range 4-8 µg mL-1 and carried mcr-1. As regards K. pneumoniae COL- resistant isolates, discrepancies between the Phoeni...
Source: Journal of Chemotherapy - Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: J Chemother Source Type: research
Publication date: October 2019Source: Fish &Shellfish Immunology, Volume 93Author(s): Shengqiang Li, Zeli Ruan, Xiyun Yang, Mingzhu Li, Dinglong YangAbstractIn the present study, a sialic acid-binding lectin was identified and characterized from Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum (designed as RpSABL-1). Multiple alignments strongly suggested that RpSABL-1 was a new member of the sialic acid-binding lectin family. In non-stimulated clams, RpSABL-1 transcripts were constitutively expressed in all five tested tissues, especially in hepatopancreas. After Vibrio anguillarum challenge, the expression of RpSABL-1 mRNA was si...
Source: Fish and Shellfish Immunology - Category: Biology Source Type: research
In this study, we aimed to dimerize the truncated BChE mutant protein expressed in a prokaryotic system (E. coli) in order to further improve its thermal stability by introducing a pair of cross-subunit disulfide bonds to the BChE-M47 structure. Specifically, the E377C/A516C mutations were designed and introduced to BChE-M47, and the obtained new protein entity, denoted as BChE-M48, with a pair of cross-subunit disulfide bonds indeed exists as a dimer with significantly improved thermostability and unaltered catalytic activity and reactivity compared to BChE-M47. These results provide a new strategy for optimizing protein ...
Source: Chemico Biological Interactions - Category: Biochemistry Source Type: research
In this study, we showed that LcpSH22a-contrary to other already characterized rubber cleaving enzymes-is responsible for the initial cleavage of both polyisoprene isomers. For this purpose, lcpSH22a was heterologously expressed in an Escherichia coli strain and purified with a functional His6- or Strep-tag. Applying liquid chromatography electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC/ESI-ToF-MS) and a spectrophotometric pyridine hemochrome assay, heme b was identified as a cofactor. Furthermore, heme-associated iron was identified using total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) analysis and inhibition tests...
Source: Journal of General and Applied Microbiology - Category: Microbiology Tags: J Gen Appl Microbiol Source Type: research
Source: Infection and Drug Resistance - Category: Infectious Diseases Tags: Infection and Drug Resistance Source Type: research
The microbial production of useful fuels and chemicals has been widely studied. In several cases, glucose is used as the raw material, and almost all microbes adopt the Embden –Meyerhof (EM) pathway to degrade ...
Source: Microbial Cell Factories - Category: Microbiology Authors: Tags: Research Source Type: research
Publication date: 15 October 2019Source: Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, Volume 297Author(s): Shuang Li, Jinglong Liu, Zetao Chen, Yanli Lu, Sze Shin Low, Lihang Zhu, Chen Cheng, Yan He, Qingmei Chen, Bin Su, Qingjun LiuAbstractGraphene quantum dots (GQDs) have recently exhibited great potential in electrogenerated chemiluminescence (ECL) due to their catalyst and amplification effect towards luminophores. Here, we prepared GQDs nanocomposites to amplify the ECL signals in tris(2,2′-bipyridyl)ruthenium(II)/tripropylamine (Ru(bpy)32+/TPA) assay. Universal serial bus interface on smartphone was used as the excitatio...
Source: Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical - Category: Chemistry Source Type: research
In this study, anti-bacterial polyamide thin film composite (PA-TFC) decorated with hydrophilic polyrhodanine (PRh) nanoparticles was fabricated through a novel route of direct filtration method. This method is a facile technique for modification of the membrane surface, in particular, for recovery of the membrane antibacterial agent which is lost during the process. The synthesized membranes were studied for morphology, surface functional groups, hydrophilicity, and surface roughness via FESEM, FTIR, contact angle, and AFM analysis. Both diffusion inhibition zone and colony formation unit tests exhibited excellent biocida...
Source: Chemical Engineering Research and Design - Category: Chemistry Source Type: research
More News: Biology | Gastroenteritis | Health | Pathology | Science | Veterinary Research | Websites