An egg abandoned by a tern (a seabird) after the egg failed to hatch. The research is a partnership between Diana Aga, UB chemistry professor, and Alicia Pérez-Fuentetaja, SUNY Buffalo State biology professor and research scientist at SUNY Buffalo State’s Great Lakes Center.
The abandoned tern eggs that scientists are studying were collected in Western New York by a biologist with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
UB chemistry PhD student Steven Travis, left, and UB chemistry professor Diana Aga identify eggs that will be suitable for study.
UB chemistry PhD student Steven Travis, left, works with an abandoned tern egg, separating the egg white and egg yolk, which will be analyzed separately for chemicals including flame retardants and pesticides. Travis is a member of the UB lab headed by chemistry professor Diana Aga (right).
With a glass pipette in hand, UB chemistry PhD student Steven Travis carefully weighs out 1 gram of egg white from an abandoned tern egg. This task is one of many steps in preparing the sample for chemical analysis.
UB chemistry PhD student Steven Travis measures the volume of a chemical standard, a solution that contains known amounts of a certain chemical. Chemical standards act as a reference, enabling scientists to accurately quantify traces of chemicals found in analytical testing.
A vortex mixer is used to shake vials holding egg whites or egg yolks, along with a liquid solvent that extracts chemicals from the egg. This process helps to separate the biological content of samples (the whites and yolks) from the chemicals (flame retardants and pesticides) the scientists are hoping to analyze.
Published August 16, 2018