The Effects of Low-Dose Mercury Exposure on Cognition in Zebra Finches

Mercury is a well-known and deadly toxin, but it only becomes bio-active when it is converted to methyl mercury. This typically is done in bodies of water, where anaerobic organisms modify the mercury to convert it. In it’s bio-active state, methyl mercury becomes toxic, and is also know to bio-accumulate. This means that the higher one looks on the food web, the concentration of mercury in the animals is known to increase. This is seen often in aquatic food chains, since methyl mercury is formed in the water (plentiful in anaerobic methylating bacteria) but research has found that this methyl mercury has penetrated terrestrial organisms as well, since some terrestrial animals eat aquatic animals, connecting their food chains. Mercury often affects neurological functions in organisms exposed to it, impairing cognitive abilities, memory, and attention. Zebra finches are often used as a model species for studying such neurological functions, so they can be used to measure the effects methyl mercury exposure on cognitive processes in terrestrial organisms.

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Team Light Skin Versus Team Dark Skin: Understanding the Black Color Complex through a System of Inequality

Oh Hey! My Name is Ebimene Doubeni or Ebi for short. I am a double major in Africana Studies with a concentration in African American Studies and a Government major. After, college I plan to go to law school and become a civil rights attorney, which is why I wanted to center my research around diversity and discrimination issues. This summer I will work under the Guidance of Professor Iyabo Osiapem as I travel to Trinidad to study how peer and family word choices of skin tone effect how Afro-Trinidadian Females view themselves.

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