One Health, Micro-nano plastics and epigenetics. The ability of micro-nano plastics (MNP) to persist in the environment, traversing different ecosystems makes them particularly dangerous (1). Aside from the physical nuisance they constitute to the environment, MNP contains Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals that can bioaccumulate in organisms when leached in the environment; interfering with the normal functioning of the endocrine system (2). The ‘One health’ paradigm lays emphasis on the interrelatedness of health between species and their environment. The Study of sentinel species such as the northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) can give insight into the adverse effects of plastics on humans. Their stomach content is indicative of environmental plastic pollution (3). My project will analyze DNA methylation changes in the northern fulmar with and without plastics stomach content. Sequencing will be focused on CpG islands using the RRBS method, thereafter bioinformatics tools will be used in the differential analysis of gene expression. Changes in the methylome of this animal sentinel will provide insight into understanding plastic contaminant exposure, disease initiation and progression.
MSc Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics Queen's University Belfast