A new study shows that when enough bacteria get together in one place, they can make a collective decision to grow an appendage and swim away. This type of behavior has been seen for the first time in marine sponges, and could lead to an understanding of how to break up harmful bacterial biofilms, such as plaque on teeth or those found on internal medical devices like artificial heart valves.
"Stop acting like we're bulletproof" urged Congressman Elijah Cummings at the kick off of a two-day conference on the Chesapeake Bay and human health at the Institute for Marine and Environmental Science at Baltimore's Inner Harbor, May 14-15.
Solomons, Md. (August 31, 2011) – According to recent research, published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series (Vol. 436), the oyster population in the upper Chesapeake Bay has been estimated to be 0.3% of population levels of early 1800s due to overfishing, disease, and habitat loss.
Chesapeake Oyster Population Less Than One Percent of Historic Levels
A research effort designed to prevent the introduction of viruses to blue crabs in a research hatchery could end up helping Chesapeake Bay watermen improve their bottom line by reducing the number of soft shell crabs perishing before reaching the market. The findings, published in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, shows that the transmission of a crab-specific virus in diseased and dying crabs likely occurs after the pre-molt (or ‘peeler’) crabs are removed from the wild and placed in soft-shell production facilities.
Improving Soft Crab Harvests through Advanced Genetic Research
Based on a comprehensive analysis of the latest scientific findings and new data, UMCES researchers Dr. Margaret Palmer and Dr. Keith Eshleman are leading a group of leading environmental scientists calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to stay all new mountaintop mining permits.
UMCES Scientists Lead Call for Stay of Mountaintop Mining Permits
Hypoxic zone size affected by low river flow and nutrient loading
Scientists expect that this year’s mid-summer Chesapeake Bay hypoxic low-oxygen zone or “dead zone” – an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and aquatic life – will be approximately 1.58 cubic miles, about the volume of 2.3 million Olympic-size swimming pools. This is close to the long-term average as measured since 1950. The anoxic portion of the zone, which contains no oxygen at all, is predicted to be 0.28 cubic miles in early summer, growing to 0.31 cubic miles by late summer. Low river flow and low nutrient loading from the Susquehanna and Potomac rivers this spring account for the smaller predicted size of the anoxic portion.
Dr. Jaqueline Grebmeier has seen the impact of climate change on the Arctic first-hand. A research professor and biological oceanographer at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, she has been working for more than 30 years to understand how Arctic marine ecosystems respond to environmental changes. This spring, she was given the President's Award for Excellence in Application of Science for her exceptional and sustained contributions to the understanding of the Arctic.