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📰 A new mechanism for microplastics to enter the food chain

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Microplastics enter the plankton aggregates, which are then ingested by the fish and travel up the food chain. Scientists from three laboratories based in Toulouse were the first to use microscopy force (The word force can designate a mechanical power over things, and also, metaphorically, a …) atomic to study the problem. In works published in the magazine Science of Total (Total is the quality of complete, without exception. From an accounting point of view, a …) Environmentconfirmed the existence of a mechanism in which the presence of microplastics favors the aggregation of microalgae and discovered a second, hitherto unknown.


Left: image of microplastics in microalgae aggregates.
Right, the study of the AFM phenomenon. © Demir-Yilmaz et al.

The pollution (By pollution we mean what makes an environment unhealthy. The definition varies according to …) from plastic affects all walks of life. Microplastics enter the marine food chains in particular, and then climb up to larger animals and alman (A man is an adult male individual of the species called Modern Man (Homo …). Interactions with the plankton (Homer designated the animals that roam the surface of the waves with plankton, from the Greek …) they seem particularly important, but still remain little known. Microalgae, which make up most of the plankton and the former link (The ring in maritime language is a length of chain (anchor line), measuring 15 …) of the food chain (A food chain is a series of living beings in which each eats the one who eats it …) aquatic, it can aggregate under certain conditions. However, microplastics cause these aggregates to form, where they mix and then pass into animals or spread to the depths of oceans (Stylized Oceans Ωceans is a French documentary directed by …). Heavier aggregates sink instead of float.

Researchers from the Toulouse Institute of Biotechnology, Bio-chemical Engineering (TBI, CNRS / INSA Toulouse / INRAE), Laboratory of Analysis andarchitecture (Architecture can be defined as the art of building buildings.) of Systems (LAAS-CNRS) and the Molecular Interactions and Chemical and Photochemical Reactivity (IMRCP, CNRS / Toulouse University / Paul Sabatier) laboratory have shown that microplastics strengthen, in two different ways, the formation of planktonic aggregates to which they bind. mix. Published in the magazine Total environmental sciencethis work is based on a new, centered methodology around (Autour is the name that gives the avian nomenclature in French (update) …) of one atomic force microscope (The atomic force microscope (or AFM for atomic force microscope) is a derivative of the microscope …) (AFM).

Microalgae emit extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), a together (In set theory, a set intuitively designates a collection …) of carbohydrates, proteins and nucleic acids which they use to colonize solid surfaces and which cause them to aggregate. Co-authors and authors confirmed that the presence of microplastics improved EPS production. This had already been observed, but the team also showed that even by removing all the EPS, the microalgae would clump even more in the presence of microplastics. This time it is direct contacts, through hydrophobic interactions between the microplastics and the cell wall, that cause the phenomenon. A part of the team is now studying whether micro and nanoplastics, once ingested by animals or humans, can be assimilated by the organism and what consequences this can have on the organism. Health (Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and it is not …).

References:
The Role of Microplastics in Microalgae Cell Aggregation: A Molecular Scale Study Using Atomic Force Microscopy.
Irem Demir-Yilmaz, Nadiia Yakovenko, Clément Roux, Pascal Guiraud, Fabrice Collin, Christophe Coudret, Alexandra Ter Halle, Cécile Formosa-Dague. Total environmental science2022.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155036

contacts:
– Cécile Formosa-Dague – Head of Research (Scientific research primarily refers to all actions undertaken with a view to …) to CNRS (The National Center for Scientific Research, better known by the acronym CNRS, is the largest …)Toulouse Institute of Biotechnology (CNRS / Inrae / Insa Toulouse) – formosa on insa-toulouse.fr
Communication (Communication concerns both man (intrapsychic, interpersonal communication, etc.) INSIS – insis.communication on cnrs.fr

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