[MARMAM] New article on in situ gas sampling in cetaceans

Yara Bernaldo de Quirós Miranda yarabdq at gmail.com
Mon Dec 19 12:47:38 PST 2011

Dear All

We are pleased to announce the recent publication of the following
paper: “Methodology
for *in situ* gas sampling, transport and laboratory analysis of gases from
stranded cetaceans” by Bernaldo de Quirós, Y.; González-Díaz, Ó.; Saavedra,
P.; Arbelo, M.; Sierra, E.; Sacchini, S.; Jepson, P.D.; Mazzariol, S.; Di
Guardo, G. and Fernández A. Scientific Reports, 1, 193; DOI:10.1038/srep00193

 The article is open access, and available from:


Gas-bubble lesions were described in cetaceans stranded in spatio-temporal
concordance with naval exercises using high-powered sonars. A behaviourally
induced decompression sickness-like disease was proposed as a plausible
causal mechanism, although these findings remain scientifically
controversial. Investigations into the constituents of the gas bubbles in
suspected gas embolism cases are highly desirable. We have found that
vacuum tubes, insulin syringes and an aspirometer are reliable tools for in
situ gas sampling, storage and transportation without appreciable loss of
gas and without compromising the accuracy of the analysis. Gas analysis is
conducted by gas chromatography in the laboratory. This methodology was
successfully applied to a mass stranding of sperm whales, to a beaked whale
stranded in spatial and temporal association with military exercises and to
a cetacean chronic gas embolism case. Results from the freshest animals
confirmed that bubbles were relatively free of gases associated with
putrefaction and consisted predominantly of nitrogen.


Prof. Antonio Fernández

PhD Yara Bernaldo de Quirós
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