Not an April Fools
No, it was not. We seriously started the experiment on 1st April, after collecting the mussels at the end of March. We first let the mussels acclimatise to the experimental environment, to minimise the stress and let them get accustomed to their new place (uhhh… minus that chit-chat with the neighbours or finding the available parking spots when you’ve just moved in.. although, who knows… they might be chatting for all I know – I’m afraid I don’t have mussel language skills in my CV, yet..). After 9 days of getting to know the new place (read: acclimatisation), the experiment officially started, with mussels being exposed to triclocarban and triphenyl phosphate. Triclocarban is found in personal care products as an antimicrobial and antifungal compound, and therefore is commonly included in the formulation of soaps, lotions, deodorants, toothpaste, and plastic. Triphenyl phosphate, on the other hand, is used in a wide range of settings and products as a plasticiser and a fire retardant.
After 6 days, the exposure was ended, and the mussels went through dissection and tissue collection for further analyses. Don’t worry, all the procedures adapted here have been carefully considered to accommodate the 3Rs and have been approved by Animal Welfare and Ethics Review Board (AWERB) – University of Brighton (see March post). We have also started the histology processing of the mussel gonads and will update you on this soon. Excited to see the results of this experiment? Me too… stay tuned for the next post!