Study Documents Crude Oil’s Toxic Impact on Tuna Hearts
Scientists from Stanford University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have discovered that crude oil interferes with tuna heart cells in ways that can lead to cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death.
The study, published February 14 in Science, looks at some of the impacts of the massive Deepwater Horizon crude oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
The specific mechanism behind the cardiotoxic effects of crude oil were documented for the first time in work by the Stanford team at the Tuna Research and Conservation Center, a 10-year collaboration between Stanford and the Aquarium.
Because heart function in tunas is similar to that in humans, marine mammals and other vertebrates, the Stanford team is recommending further study to determine if human hearts are at risk when they’re exposed to the same hydrocarbon compounds in polluted air. 
The Aquarium, Stanford and NOAA funded the research project.
Learn more about the work of the Tuna Research and Conservation Center.

Study Documents Crude Oil’s Toxic Impact on Tuna Hearts

Scientists from Stanford University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have discovered that crude oil interferes with tuna heart cells in ways that can lead to cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death.

The study, published February 14 in Science, looks at some of the impacts of the massive Deepwater Horizon crude oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

The specific mechanism behind the cardiotoxic effects of crude oil were documented for the first time in work by the Stanford team at the Tuna Research and Conservation Center, a 10-year collaboration between Stanford and the Aquarium.

Because heart function in tunas is similar to that in humans, marine mammals and other vertebrates, the Stanford team is recommending further study to determine if human hearts are at risk when they’re exposed to the same hydrocarbon compounds in polluted air. 

The Aquarium, Stanford and NOAA funded the research project.

Learn more about the work of the Tuna Research and Conservation Center.

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About me

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, perched on the edge of a world-famous coastline, is your window to the wonders of the ocean. It’s located on historic Cannery Row in Monterey and is open daily except Christmas Day.

For more information about our animals and exhibits, and to view our live web cams, please visit www.montereybayaquarium.org.

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