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Biomarkers - Essay Example

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Biomarkers are Biochemical, physiological or histological indicators of either exposure to or effects of physical stressors or xenobiotic chemicals at the sub-organismal or organismal level (Huggett et al. 1992). In other words "biochemical, cellular, physiological or behavioral variations in the tissue or body fluids or at the level of whole organism that provide evidence of exposure to chemical pollutants, and may also indicate a toxic effect" (English Nature, 2004).

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In aquatic environment, biomarkers depend upon the physical environmental conditions such as temperature, pH or salinity, as well as toxic concentrations of chemical pollutants or any combination of these.
Biomarkers can be categorized as non-specific and specific according to their responses to a particular element or a group of environmental factors (Mayer et al., 1992). non-specific biomarkers, for example ribonucleic acid/deoxyribonucleic acid, radiolabelled amino acid or nucleotide incorporation, and adenylate energy charge, give direct information on the growth rate or potential of an organism but they can not be used to determine the particular toxicant. Specific biomarkers can be again categorized n to two sub-categories, organ, and toxicant specific according to method of their recognition. Organ specific biomarkers are analyzed by examining changes in concentration specific enzymes in organisms whether as Toxicant-specific biomarkers are analyzed according to the exposure and effects on an organism due to a chemical or group of chemicals.
Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), transaminases, creatine phosphokina ...
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