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Hahn and Franks studying genetic resistance of fish to PCBs

Making the Best of a Hostile Environment

WHOI's Diana Franks and Mark Hahn, shown working in the lab, joined colleagues from New York University and NOAA to report that Atlantic tomcod living in New York's Hudson River have undergone a rapid evolutionary change in developing a genetic resistance to polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs in their environment. For 30 years, two General Electric facilities released about 1.3 million pounds of PCBs into the Hudson, devastating and contaminating fish populations. Some 50 years later, however, the Atlantic tomcod has not only survived but appears to be thriving in the hostile environment. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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