Lyceum Society: Horseshoe Crab Copper-Based Circulatory System
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Presented by the Lyceum Society
The Lyceum Society is comprised of the Academy's retired and semi-retired members. Talks cover various scientific fields. All Academy members are welcome. All Lyceum meetings (except December) are Brown Bag lunches. Brown Bag: 11:30 am; Brief-Brief: 12:00pm; Lecture & Discussion: 1pm to 3 pm.
Blue-blooded: Horseshoe Crabs, copper-based circulatory system—
455 Million Years in the Making and in Peril
Horseshoe crabs are well-known as "living fossils," with an ancestry reaching back 455 million years to the doorstep of the Cambrian. They provide food resources for millions of migratory birds each year. For humans, they are a pharmaceutical necessity because their blue blood provides LAL, an extract that detects Gram-negative bacteria, helping to prevent infections from surgery or injected drugs in hospitals around the world. They have been the subject animal for a Nobel Prize award. And, they are just "cool," full of copper-based, blue blood.
Today they are the subject of several assaults. In spite of their longevity, these animals now face growing threats to their continued survival. This talk will cover the dire problems faced by these critical species.
John Tanacredi, PhD
Dr. Tanacredi is currently Chair, Department of Earth and Marine Sciences and Director, Center for Estuarine, Environmental and Coastal Oceans Monitoring at Dowling College in Oakdale, NY. Earlier in his career, he was a Research Associate, Department of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, and a Research Associate, Deputy Director, Aquatic Research and Environmental Assessment Center, Brooklyn College, CUNY.
Dr. Tanacredi is the quintessential interdisciplinarian internationalist. From Easter Island to the Caribbean, on both U.S. coasts, he was a Hurricane Hunter for the U.S. Navy (1968-70), and managed research vessels for the National Park Service. He is the author of countless peer-reviewed articles and many books, the latest due out late 2010: The Redesigned Earth: Ecological Principles for Engineers.
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