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Bio-remediation for Ocean Life

View these resources to complete this assignment:

Scientific American Instant Egghead Video: Can Microbes clean Up Our Oily Mess?

http://www.scientificamerican.com/video/can-microbes-clean-up-our-oily-mess2013-12-11/

Interview with Professor Barbara Block on BBC News:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26184116

Tutorials on Genetic Engineering

Making a Recombinant Plasmid
http://plantandsoil.unl.edu/pages/animation.php?a=making_a_recombinant_plasmid.swf&b=1003514583

Bacteria Transformation http://plantandsoil.unl.edu/pages/animation.php?a=Bacteria_Transformation.swf&b=1003514686

Assignment

Prepare a 3-4 page document that outlines your analysis of the effects of the Deepwater Spill on study species in the Gulf of Mexico. In your report include:

Part I - Influence of Crude Oil on Nitrosopumilus maritimus and Nitrosococcus oceani

Which species appeared to be affected by crude oil assays in the Urakawa et al (2012) study? How were they affected in the study?
Based on what you know about the metabolism of the organisms, which species was more likely to have been successful in an environment with abundant hydrocarbons?

Part II - Influence of Crude Oil on Thunnus thynnus (Atlantic Bluefin Tuna)

Provide an overview of the documented effects of crude oil on Thunnus thynnus.
What stage of development is affected and how could this affect the population?
What economic impact would this have on the area?
What is a "highly conserved gene?" What relationship do these results have to the effects of hydrocarbons on humans?

Part III - Recommendations for Remediation

Do you recommend genetically engineering a prokaryote to remediate this spill? In your assessment provide reasons for BOTH why and why not this would be a good approach, and describe which genes would need to be targeted and which species would be better suited to be transformed - Nitrosopumilus maritimus or Nitrosococcus oceani.

Solution Preview

Structure of DNA, genetics, and inheritance
View these resources to complete this assignment:
Scientific American Instant Egghead Video: Can Microbes clean Up Our Oily Mess?
http://www.scientificamerican.com/video/can-microbes-clean-up-our-oily-mess2013-12-11/
Interview with Professor Barbara Block on BBC News:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26184116
Tutorials on Genetic Engineering
Making a Recombinant Plasmid
http://plantandsoil.unl.edu/pages/animation.php?a=making_a_recombinant_plasmid.swf&b=1003514583
Bacteria Transformation http://plantandsoil.unl.edu/pages/animation.php?a=Bacteria_Transformation.swf&b=1003514686
Assignment
Prepare a 3-4 page document that outlines your analysis of the effects of the Deepwater Spill on study species in the Gulf of Mexico. In your report include:
Part I - Influence of Crude Oil on Nitrosopumilus maritimus and Nitrosococcus oceani

Which species appeared to be affected by crude oil assays in the Urakawa et al (2012) study? How were they affected in the study?
The effects of oil on ocean life can be devastating for many reasons. In fact, the research led by Stanford Woods Institute Senior Fellow Barbara Block had found that crude oil is "cardiotoxic" to fish and other marine life. Crude oil interrupted the ability of the heart of the fish to beat regularly and effectively. Crude oil is a mixture of chemicals that are toxic to marine animals. Crude oil contained toxic compounds like "polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon" (PAHs) that is found in coal tar, creosote, air pollution and stormwater runoff from the land. PAH can persist for many years in the aftermath of an oilspill. The researchers had also found that crude oil interferes with cardiac cell excitability, contraction and relaxation that are vital processes for normal beat to beat contraction and pacing of the heart. Crude oil also disrupt the specialized ion channel pores in which molecules can flow in and out of the cells. The passage of small molecules in and out of cells can control the heart rate and contraction in the cardiac muscle ...

Solution Summary

The effects of oil on ocean life can be devastating for many reasons. In fact, the research led by Stanford Woods Institute Senior Fellow Barbara Block had found that crude oil is "cardiotoxic" to fish and other marine life. Crude oil interrupted the ability of the heart of the fish to beat regularly and effectively. Crude oil is a mixture of chemicals that are toxic to marine animals.

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