Puget Sound mussels are failing drug tests

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Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/25/puget-sound-mussels-are-failin.html

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#2

Failing? Or winning

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#3

They’re animals I tell you! They need to be sent back to whatever shithole country…

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#4

It’s so heartwarming that our opioid crisis has the strength to cross species boundaries.

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#5

Price of puget sound mussels just went up.

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#6

Just imagine the potential environmental impact the human presence would have on a completely foreign ecosystem, like Mars.

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#7

One day there’ll be a Wikipedia article for “Alien species drug addictions”

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#8

Puget Sound Mussels: You can’t eat just one.

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#9

Just think of all the pathogens and diseases we could inadvertently create!

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#10

Exactly. Everyone who has a hardon for colonizing mars can jump off a cliff, IMO. Reminds me of a suddenly-conservative (and racist and misogynistic and…) friend who was telling me how great the Israeli settlements are because they transformed what was once “just a desert” into a paradise.

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#11

The field of Epidemiology would probably have decades of rapid growth.

Related, I’ve always been fascinated by the ecology of diseases. How pathogens are so specially evolved they have trouble spreading except through facilitated distribution. Not my field but still interesting.

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#12

Related links:

Stay calm everyone, there’s Prozac in the drinking water (The Guardian, August 2004)

Pharmaceuticals in Drinking-Water (WHO, 2012, PDF)

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and artificial sweeteners (ASs) in surface and ground waters and their application as indication of wastewater contamination (NCBI, Oct. 2017)

Artificial sweeteners in groundwater indicate contamination from septic systems (Journal of Environmental Quality, 2017)

Occurrence patterns of pharmaceutical residues in wastewater, surface water and groundwater of Nairobi and Kisumu city, Kenya (Chemosphere, April 2016)

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#13

No, let them go; all of them. STAT.

Good luck to them on trying to coax an environment that is completely foreign to human physiology to change it’s very nature, just for them, via the ‘infinite magic of technology!’

Meanwhile, the rest of us can get busy trying to fix all the damage we’ve done to the ecosystem which we were actually born into, the one that naturally provided resources for all our basic needs - air, food, water, shelter.

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#14

So, can you snort mussels? :smirk: I’m asking for a friend.

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#15

Can you really call Mars an ecosystem, though? My understanding of “ecosystem” is a web or interdependent system of all the life forms in an area, their interactions, and so on. Not just trees providing shelter to prey animals, who are eaten by predators, but also territories, migration patterns, environmental changes and disasters driving evolution and habitat fitness, outbreaks of disease and parasitic infections. And on and on. But Mars has no detectable life at all, except possibly what we have already brought there. If there’s any kind of ecosystem, it’s remarkably well hidden, possibly buried under yards of ice and permafrost.

Definitely not suggesting that we trash Mars, just because it’s lifeless, but the probability that we’d be harming an ecosystem there seems extremely close to zero in my opinion. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson explores the ethics of terraforming a completely lifeless Mars – do we leave it pristine, because it has value as a world of unique geological environments, or do we make it habitable, because its actual value is whatever human beings bring to it. I don’t recall either side being presented as “right”, but the terraforming community definitely has more support within the novel.

Edit: typo

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#16

That we know of, anyway.

There’s no telling what kind of microscopic organisms could possibly exist on the surface or underneath it, and no way of knowing how our inevitable biological and inorganic waste would interact with it.

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#18

The DEA busted a trafficking ring recently with 20 kilos of the stuff:

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#19

That is way more than 20 kilos. ha ha.

I spend too much time near the water…

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#20

I would think that our history as a species would be enough for a hard “no” and I can’t think of a single good reason for a “yes”.

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