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Sea turtles going into the ocean. Photo: Edgar Santiago García/picture alliance via Getty Images

Research published in the journal Global Change Biology revealed that more than 800 synthetic particles, including "microplastics," were found in the digestive systems of 102 sea turtles examined from 3 ocean basins.

Why it matters: The fact that microplastics were found in all of the turtles tested by researchers — in oceans all across the world — highlights the impact of marine plastic waste and its potential effects on animals. The study estimated that between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons of plastic waste could enter the world's waters each year.

  • The sea turtles were pulled from seven species from across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as well as the Mediterranean Sea. They performed necropsies on the turtles, examining their "gut content."
  • The samples extracted only provide a look at a portion of the turtles' gut content, indicating that the actual synthetic particle content throughout a turtle's whole gut is likely to be 20 times higher.

What's next: It's unclear how microplastics might actually affect the turtles' digestive systems, since they seem to be able to deal with them without adverse effects, per CNN.

  • Researchers are worried that the synthetic particles could expose marine life to toxins at the cellular level, perhaps exposing them to bacteria or diseases.

Go deeper: Plastic straws play only minor role in global plastics pollution

Go deeper

43 mins ago - Technology

Big Tech bolts politics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Big Tech fed politics. Then it bled politics. Now it wants to be dead to politics. 

Why it matters: The social platforms that profited massively on politics and free speech suddenly want a way out — or at least a way to hide until the heat cools. 

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
48 mins ago - Economy & Business

GameStop as a metaphor

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A half-forgotten and unprofitable videogame retailer is, bizarrely and incredibly, on the lips of the nation. That's because the GameStop story touches on economic and cultural forces that affect everyone, whether they own a single share of stock or not.

Why it matters: In most Wall Street fights, the broader public doesn't have a rooting interest. This one — where a group of small traders won a multi-billion-dollar bet against giant hedge funds by buying stock in GameStop — is different.

"Megacities" on the rise

Data: Macrotrends; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Places with more than 10 million residents — known as megacities — are becoming more common as people from rural areas migrate to urban ones.

Why it matters: The benefits of megacities — which include opportunities for upward mobility and higher wages — can be offset by their negatives, like the fact that they're breeding grounds for COVID-19.