Nature's natural fire retardants... in marine bacteria?!
So it seems that scientists from +University of California, San Diego
have found that fire retardant-like chemicals called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are biologically synthesized by marine bacteria.
These PBDEs are known to accumulate in the fatty tissues of marine critters, which is concerning because they are believed to be somewhat toxic (including to people too - we can also accumulate such toxins). We thought we were the only producers of these PBDEs, but it seems that in this case at least, we are not 100% to blame for a nasty in the ocean.
The paper is published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology
and sitting behind a paywall, but you can read the press release here http://ow.ly/yErgz
If you have access to the journal Nature Chemical Biology
(or fancy paying for it), you can access the paper directly here http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchembio.1564
Image: Marine bacteria under epifluorescence stained by SYBR green. Taken from the University of California, Santa Cruz Marine Microbiology webpage http://wwwzehr.pmc.ucsc.edu/~wwwzehr/research/links/ #marinescience #scienceeveryday #biology #bacteria #chemicalbiology