Earth Science, Earth's System, ES 1: Geochemical Cycles (HS), ES 1: Materials/Energy Flow (MS), ES 4: Carbon Cycling (HS), ES 5: Life on Earth (HS)

Frequency of Microplastics in Mesopelagic Fishes from the Northwest Atlantic

Frequency of Microplastics in Mesopelagic Fishes from the Northwest Atlantic SUMMARY: In this experiment, the researchers sampled dead mesopelagic fish from the Northwest Atlantic Mid-Ocean area (between Ireland and Newfoundland). The water and the fish guts were strained for microplastics. Researchers found that 73% of the fish had microplastics in their stomach. Most of the… Continue reading Frequency of Microplastics in Mesopelagic Fishes from the Northwest Atlantic

Earth Science, Earth's System, ES 1: Geochemical Cycles (HS), ES 2: Hydrological Cycle (MS), ES 3: Hydrological Cycle (HS), HSus 1: Human Activity (HS), HSus 2: Monitoring Human Impact (MS), HSus 3: Human/Ecosystem Interactions (HS), HSus 5: Showing Human Impact (HS), Human Sustainability

Investigating Microplastics on Land

Microplastics as an emerging threat to terrestrial ecosystems (NOT OPEN ACCESS) SUMMARY: Though there has been a lot of research on microplastics in aquatic environments, there aren’t studies looking into the effects of microplastics on land. Researchers in this article suspect that there may be more microplastics in land than in the oceans; organisms that… Continue reading Investigating Microplastics on Land

Life Science, Non-NGSS Articles, S&F 2: Body Systems (HS), S&F 3: Body Systems (MS), Structure and Function

Feeding Plastic to Copepods

Adverse effects of microplastics and oxidative stress-induced MAPK/Nfr2 pathway-mediated defense mechanisms in the marine copepod Paracyclopina nana SUMMARY: Researchers fed copepods (specifically Paracyclopina nana or P. nana) three different sizes of plastic beads: 6um, 0.5um, and 0.05um. They found that the smaller the beads, the longer they stayed in the copepod's bodies and the more… Continue reading Feeding Plastic to Copepods

Earth Science, HSus 3: Human/Ecosystem Interactions (HS), HSus 4: Evaluating Solutions (HS), HSus 5: Showing Human Impact (HS), Human Sustainability, Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, IR 4: Reducing Human Impact (HS), IR 6: Human Impact Solutions (HS), Life Science, Non-NGSS Articles, S&F 2: Body Systems (HS), S&F 3: Body Systems (MS), Structure and Function

Krill Digesting Microplastic

Turning microplastics into nanoplastics through digestive fragmentation by Antarctic krill SUMMARY: This study found that krill were breaking down microplastic beads into smaller and smaller pieces in their digestive system. The krill were divided into two groups, one eating 80% plastic beads with 20% algae, the other eating 20% plastic beads and 80% algae. The… Continue reading Krill Digesting Microplastic

HSus 1: Human Activity (HS), HSus 2: Monitoring Human Impact (MS), HSus 3: Arguing Sustainability (MS), HSus 3: Human/Ecosystem Interactions (HS), HSus 4: Evaluating Solutions (HS), Human Sustainability

Review: Microplastics in Canadian Aquatic Ecosystems

Microplastics in aquatic environments: Implications for Canadian ecosystems SUMMARY: This article is a summary and review of a bunch of other articles on microplastics. It talks about the sources of microplastics, the amount in aquatic systems, the effects on organisms, and finally there is a section about gaps in research. LESSON COMMENTS: While you can… Continue reading Review: Microplastics in Canadian Aquatic Ecosystems

Chemical Reactions, CR 1: Predicting Reactions (HS), Physical Science, S&P 2: Synthetic Materials (MS), S&P 4: Molecule Traits (HS), Structure & Properties of Matter, W 3: Digital vs Analog (MS), Waves & Electromagnetic Radiation

Nanoplastics and the Cell Membrane: A Simulation

Polystyrene Nanoparticles Perturb Lipid Membranes(NOT OPEN ACCESS) SUMMARY: This experiment used computer graphics to simulate how polystyrene nanoparticles could possibly interact with a biological membrane. This requires knowing the chemical properties of both polystyrene and the cell membrane. The simulation (called a coarse-grained molecular simulation) showed that these tiny pieces of plastic are able to… Continue reading Nanoplastics and the Cell Membrane: A Simulation