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Wed May 15, 2019, 03:35 AM

Alarming study finds plastic ocean pollution harms bacteria that produces the oxygen we breathe


Rich Haridy
2 hours ago

An important new study is raising novel concerns over the effects of plastic pollution in our oceans. For the first time researchers investigated how a common ocean bacteria, responsible for producing over 10 percent of oxygen in the atmosphere, is negatively impaired by chemicals that can leach out of plastic products.

Prochlorococcus is a tiny cyanobacterial genus that was only discovered a little over 30 years ago. This remarkable cyanobacterium is not only the smallest photosynthesizing organism on the planet, but also one of the most abundant. Some estimates suggest there are as much as three octillion Prochlorococcus in the ocean, where they not only help keep the waters healthy, but also produce a substantial volume of the oxygen we breathe.

"These tiny microorganisms are critical to the marine food web, contribute to carbon cycling and are thought to be responsible for up to 10 per cent of the total global oxygen production," says Lisa Moore, from Australia's Macquarie University and co-author on the new study. "So one in every 10 breaths of oxygen you breathe in is thanks to these little guys, yet almost nothing is known about how marine bacteria, such as Prochlorococcus respond to human pollutants."

To fill this substantial gap in scientific knowledge, the researchers took two different strains of the cyanobacteria and in laboratory conditions exposed them to chemicals known to leach out of common plastic products. The results were striking with the chemicals impairing the Prochlorococcus' growth, reducing its ability to photosynthesize, and altering the expression of a large number of its genes.c

More:
https://newatlas.com/plastic-ocean-pollution-bacteria-photosynthesis-oxygen/59688/

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Reply Alarming study finds plastic ocean pollution harms bacteria that produces the oxygen we breathe (Original post)
Judi Lynn May 2019 OP
Duppers May 2019 #1
sinkingfeeling May 2019 #2
JudyM May 2019 #3

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 07:30 AM

1. Very alarming.

And another step closer to the edge of that proverbial cliff, like lemmings.

😖

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 08:09 AM

2. We are killing the planet and all life on it.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #2)

Wed May 15, 2019, 09:52 AM

3. We think we know everything and control everything. Our lack of humility is destroying all life.

The power wielded by those with no conscience, no forethought except as to their own comfort, seems greater than the power of those who want to put a stop to it, even extending to the election infrastructure that could alter that power equation. If we regain any power, we absolutely must be revolutionary because that is what it is going to take to save life on earth. No more mere “back to our old decorum/ways of governing.”

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