The University of Miami

Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine

With support from the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation, researchers the University of Miami demonstrated that sharks, holding a well-known spot at the top of the marine food web, accumulate BMAA in their fins and other organs. The results of the studies have been disseminated to increase the public awareness of the potential dangers of shark consumption.

Although the role of BMAA in human degenerative disease is highly debated, there is strong evidence that BMAA is neurotoxic, mimicking the action of the neurotransmitter glutamate. These observations suggest that BMAA is an environmental toxin, which triggers degenerative brain disease.

It is estimated that more than 100 million sharks are killed each year, with roughly half of them solely caught and killed for their fins to be sold at consumer markets.

Visit HWH funded research at University of Miami pinpoints sharks as clues to Human Diseases.
Visit the Miller School’s Brain Endowment Bank website.

The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami is one of the premier oceanographic research and education institutions in the world. As the only subtropical institute of its kind in the continental United States, its more than 100 Ph.D. faculty members, 190 graduate students, and more than 250 research support staff comprise the academic community. Through excellence in applied and basic marine and atmospheric research, the Rosenstiel School sheds light on today’s most pressing environmental issues, including fisheries, oceans and human health, hurricane warnings, climate change, and coral reefs.

Rosenstiel School researchers are among the leading voices heard on climate change science, remote sensing technology, ecosystem-based fisheries management, improved understanding of coastal and deep-sea ocean processes, and numeric modeling that is striving to fine-tune hurricane predictions from the tens of kilometers level down to just a single kilometer.

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