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Plankton with "zombie acid" found in the waters off Vladivostok

Added Fri, 14/07/2023
Дата публикации
Fri, 14/07/2023

Plankton has been found in the waters of Vladivostok, which may pose a potential threat to the human brain. The single-celled organism, known as Pseudo-nitzschia, contains domoic acid, which can cause neurological disorders, including short-term memory loss, seizures and tremors. This discovery was made at the Zhirmunsky National Scientific Center for Marine Biology.

Pseudo-nitzschia marine diatoms attract the attention of researchers because of their ability to produce domoic acid, which is a neurotoxin. It belongs to the class of excitatory amino acids and is an agonist of glutamate-ionotropic receptors in the central nervous system of mammals. This means that it can affect brain function and cause negative consequences for human health.

Researchers have noticed changes in plankton blooms in the Ussuri Bay since 2017. The emergence of new species of unicellular organisms has led to the disruption of the ecosystem and the spread of domoic acid. This can pose a danger to shellfish and other marine organisms, as well as to coastal ecosystems.

Every year, many cases of intoxication are registered in the world after consuming toxins contained in microalgae. Most often this happens after eating seafood dishes. Therefore, the detection of potentially harmful plankton in the waters of Vladivostok raises serious concerns.

In addition to the threat to human health, domoic acid can also cause significant economic losses for aquaculture farms. This may lead to a decrease in seafood production and damage to marine fauna.

Currently, dangerous concentrations of domoic acid have not been detected in other Russian regions, with the exception of Vladivostok. This makes the water area of this city especially vulnerable and requires measures to prevent further spread of plankton.

The spread of plankton caused an ecological catastrophe in Kamchatka in 2020, when thousands of marine life died due to "zombie acid". This name was given to a poisonous substance contained in plankton. This event highlights the seriousness of the problem and the need to take measures to protect the marine environment.

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