Research led by Jayasundara mentioned in Massive article on effects of pollutants

A recent study led by Nishad Jayasundara, an assistant professor of marine physiology at the University of Maine, was cited in the Massive article, “We know terrifyingly little about how our bodies react to pollutants, but that’s changing.” The international research team focused on the mummichog, a common fish that primarily lives in estuaries, marshes and coastal environments and has a unique ability to adapt to polluted environments, according to the article. The team collected live fish from sites known to contain high, medium, and low levels of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a toxic and carcinogenic pollutant. The fish were then allowed to acclimate to environmental conditions in captivity before undergoing a comprehensive evaluation, the article states. After the acclimation period, the researchers made the fish swim until tired while measuring their oxygen consumption, metabolic rate, swimming ability, and tolerance to increased temperatures. The researchers found mummichogs deal with PAH exposure by changing their gene makeup, Massive reported.