Deep in the heart of a protected area like Doñana National Park, it is supposedly clean and free from pollution compared to other kinds of areas such as a big city’s downtown area.
Deep in the heart of a protected area like Doñana National Park, it is supposedly clean and free from pollution compared to other kinds of areas such as a big city’s downtown area. However, it does not always work out that way, since natural environments get a growing number of pollutants. In the specific case of Doñana, we suspect this is due to its geographical location, as it is close to Huelva’s chemical park and surrounded by areas with a great amount of agricultural activity.
Measuring the effects of toxic compounds on the organisms that inhabit the area in order to find solutions early on is the task taken on by a team from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Cordoba, led by José Alhama and Carmen Michán.
In order to detect the level of environmental pollution in Doñana Park, they assessed the biological effects of these pollutants on western Mediterranean mice, unprotected natural inhabitants, that became land bioindicators of the toxins present in the area.
Specifically, they studied oxidative damage in proteins, the main targets of oxidative stress. This kind of stress is one of the most important effects of the pollutants, that is also related to different diseases.
Read more at University of Córdoba
Image: Researchers from University of Córdoba doing the proteomic work in the laboratory (Credit: University of Córdoba)