ECU Researchers: Oil From BP Spill Got Into Ocean Food Chain

Research by East Carolina University students and faculty has revealed a major impact from the Gulf oil spill.

Research from students from the biology and geological science department show oil from the spill made it into the the oceans food chain through a tiny organism called zooplankton. This is important because zooplankton form the base of the food chain. They say their research helped determine the fingerprint of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that other researchers will be able to use.

Dr. Siddhartha Mitra, ECU geologist, says, "We have a viable fingerprint, a chemical fingerprint of the BP Oil spill, and so we are then able to go look for that fingerprint."

Dr.David Kimmel, ECU biologist, says, "We can trace the oil from the spill into the food web. What that tells us is that part of the food web at least the base contains chemicals that were found in the oil spill and that tells us that the food web was contaminated in some capacity."

The ECU students provided a great deal of support in researching and writing the recently published paper and are expected to participate in a follow up study.


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  • by Formerly O.L.I. Location: ENC on Mar 13, 2012 at 01:53 PM
    Gasp! Did it!?! I had no idea.
  • by Dave Location: Wilson on Mar 13, 2012 at 12:33 PM
    Quick science class. What is oil? Where does it come from? It is a naturally occuring product. It is virtually everywhere. Oil leaks constantly in our waters. Guess what? It is not a big deal. In fact by drilling you concentrate the "leak" point and reduce the pressure of the oil in the reserve. Diminishing leaks at other places. I have been to the Gulf since the rig explosion. You know what you do not see? Oil!!! Refined oil is different but oil from rigs and tanker leaks will fix themselves naturally.
    • reply
      by Sure on Mar 13, 2012 at 05:59 PM in reply to Dave
      Let all the fish eat, swim and breathe oil! Its natural! I think I'll have a big bowl of crude oil soup tonight. Lets just drill holes everywhere and then we can just skim off what we need and leave the rest for the fish to eat.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM
    Dave is so smart that he continued his education a a school he calls inferior. Yet you would think a smart guy like Dave could have figured a way to transfer so he could get his "real" education. Instead he stayed and paid money for his inferior education. Very smart. The reeason to go to school is to get a good job. But Dave paid money for a "bad education". Once again Dave, don't blame the school...blame yourself for your short comings. You are giving us Conservitives a bad name when you can take responsibility for your own actions! Board was better when you were in hidding over PSU.
  • by It's Location: NC on Mar 13, 2012 at 07:09 AM
    It's Palin's fault!
  • by Gerry Location: Emerald City on Mar 13, 2012 at 06:47 AM
    Whoever thought this wasn't going to happen, please report to the short bus.
  • by porkchop Location: g'ville on Mar 13, 2012 at 04:11 AM
    Whenever I change the oil in my truck I dump the old oil in the Tar River, so it can be carried to the sound and then the sea. This is called recycling and is good for the planet. The shrimps eat it and then I eat the shrimps.
    • reply
      by Bloke on Mar 13, 2012 at 04:34 AM in reply to porkchop
      No Prokchop, this is called lazy. You are too sorry to take it to the local dump where they have a disposal for old oil. Your name says it all though, we already knew it.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 13, 2012 at 03:14 AM
    I could have told you that without a study. For those of you who don't think the oil has any sort of impact like this I really am at a loss of words. Lack of education I suppose.
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Mar 12, 2012 at 10:44 PM
    I think it's awesome that the East Carolina University science students are being productive for a good cause, unlike Dave, who just likes to show his jealousy and who also believes that water is dry. I just wish Dave could manage to do something productive one day.
  • by Dave on Mar 12, 2012 at 08:31 PM
    I wouldn't believe an ECU researcher if they said that water was wet.
    • reply
      by Sam on Mar 12, 2012 at 10:42 PM in reply to Dave
      Dave, NOBODY will believe you when you type your senseless sentences. EVERYBODY knows your statements are irrelevant and uneducated. On the other hand, about 90% of the people believe these ECU researchers. Since you say you can't believe an ECU researcher if they said water was wet, the must mean you believe that water is dry. We know you don't have a high school diploma.
      • reply
        by Obama Snake Oil Co on Mar 13, 2012 at 05:19 AM in reply to Sam
        First, can you explain why Obimbo kept skimmer ships in port for 6 weeks? Can you then tell us why one of our largest skimmer ship, that could have taken the oil out as fast as it was being leaked was also kept in port by Obimbo? It was intentional. He wanted the oil to hit the beach for the news media. Anyone that thinks otherwise is merely a sheepish fool. We all know how big it was getting and the sent out peoples fishing boats instead of skimmers. Now we pay the price at the pumps for Obimbos incompetence.
        • reply
          by Haliburton on Mar 13, 2012 at 08:07 AM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
          OSOC, I think it's time to check in with your case worker. I don't think your meds are doing much for you any more.
        • reply
          by saywha? on Mar 13, 2012 at 09:06 AM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
          I tell you what, I would be a rich man today if I had bought tin foil futures in the months prior to Obama's election.
        • reply
          by Barlow on Mar 13, 2012 at 09:12 AM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
          Every skimmer on the planet would not have been enough to handle that spill. Only Fox would put out anything so silly. What would you have used to clean up the mess after Katrina, a mop? LOL
        • reply
          by Obama Snake Oil Co on Mar 13, 2012 at 01:36 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
          Sorry kids to P in your cornflakes but look at the timeline. Barlow, you should know you are playing with adults now, you know the skimmers were kept in port. I told you, posted links when it happened now go pay homage to your failure Obimbo. http://www.aolnews.com/2010/07/01/worlds-biggest-oil-skimmer-enters-the-gulf/ And this is the timelines; http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-bp-oil-spill The problem with the modern libterd is they think they can discredit me over fact....now go have that good cry and if your mommy thinks you need it, a big ice cold glass of koolaid!
        • reply
          by Barlow on Mar 13, 2012 at 03:06 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
          Here Snake since you want links. This is a SCIENCE link so becareful as it contains FACTS! We all know how you Repugs feel about science and facts. http://www.livescience.com/6380-experts-gulf-oil-spill-won-cleaned.html
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM in reply to Dave
      Penn State Dave (well not really becasue he coudn't get in there) is really starting to come around again. Dave is a joke.
  • by Oil Boom Location: Pitt on Mar 12, 2012 at 07:57 PM
    WOW!!! Really? You don't say!?! Thanks for stating the obvious. And people wonder why funding needs to be cut at universities. (Yes I do work at one.) Plenty of unnecessary spending occurs still. Even after all the reports to cut back and to keep cutting back.
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