Tonya B. Lewis
Baylor Professors Study Whale Earwax
Caption: Baylor University (Texas) researchers Stephen Trumble, Ph.D., assistant professor biology, and Sascha Usenko, Ph.D., assistant professor of environmental science, have discovered a novel technique for using whale ear wax to reconstruct whales' lifetime exposure to chemicals and environmental pollutants, as well as time-specific biological information about the endangered mammals. Using this new, previously unattainable data, the professors are able to assess the human impact on individual whales and multiple generations, as well as provide a better understanding of the effect on marine ecosystems. Their research findings appear online in the Sept. 16, 2013, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
Credit: (Baylor Marketing & Communications/Ben Brune)
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Related news release: Baylor professors use whale earwax to develop new method to determine contaminant exposure in whales