As we prepare to observe the one year anniversary of the Macondo well blowout last April in the Gulf of Mexico, independent scientists are still struggling to conduct research on the ecological effects of the runaway oil and subsequent cleanup activities. Initially, funds for research and access to the coast were significant barriers. Twelve months on, money is still difficult to procure, and now it seems that obtaining crude oil for experimental purposes is nearly impossible.
True, the National Institutes of Health recently launched a linkurl:huge study;http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/02/nih-begins-study-of-oil-spills.html. to investigate the effects of oil and the subsequent cleanup efforts on human health. The study, overseen by the NIH's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is a step in the right direction and will track the health of workers involved in the cleanup. But one could argue...
collecting samples in an oiled marsh
Photo: Linda Hooper-Bui
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