Newsflash: New Biomarker detects Low Levels of Domoic Acid

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A recent PloS ONE article co-authored by several CEEH researchers (Richard Beyer, Theo Bammler, and Frederico Farin), is getting a lot of attention. In the article, A Novel Antibody-Based Biomarker for Chronic Algal Toxin Exposure and Sub-Acute Neurotoxicity, NOAA scientist Kathi Lefebvre, reports on the authors' discovery of a biomarker present in zebrafish and sea lions that indicates repeated exposure to low levels of domoic acid (DA), a known neurotoxin to marine mammals, seabirds, and humans at high concentrations and/or chronic low-level exposure. Exposure to DA is especially of concern in coastal and tribal communities where shellfish is a major food source. The discovery is important in detecting low levels of DA exposure but also suggests that it may be possible to develop tests for exposures to other environmental toxins as well.

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