Polar Bear, Photo: Mostphotos
Polar bear, Photo: Mostphotos


In the study, conducted by scientists from Canada and the United States as well as professor Jonathan Martin, now at Stockholm University, two polar bear subpopulations were chosen for analysis. One from Hudson Bay in Canada and one from the Beaufort Sea in the Northern Arctic. Serum was taken from each population and then pooled and examined by high-performance chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry techniques.

Whatever pollutants fish and other marine living species take up, they can end up biomagnifying in the polar bears that eat them. Halogenated contaminants were recognized in polar bear serum for the first time in the 1970s. They have been monitored frequently since then, as these man-made substances or their direct metabolites have been linked to disturbances of the immune system or endocrine function.


More information:
Professor Jonathan Martin writes about the study and its findings in Wiley.

The study is published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition: https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.201809906