oysters

©Guofan Zhang, photo by Tao Liu / Nature

The oyster is more than a seafood favorite. It’s an ecological lynchpin in Puget Sound and on beaches around the world, so scientists are thankful the Pacific oyster is the latest creature to have its genetic code unveiled.

The shellfish has a lot going on inside.

“I'm just always totally amazed that what most people think of as a shell full of goo, when they open it up, has this very complex physiology, where they control reproductive process very similar to humans and mammals,” says Steven Roberts, a professor of fisheries at the University of Washington.

Claudia Wedell / Flickr

Scientists are blaming slightly higher levels of carbon dioxide in Pacific Ocean waters caused by global warming for the failure of oyster larvae to survive in an Oregon hatchery.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington health officials say five people in the state got sick from eating raw oysters that were harvested from an area of Puget Sound's Hood Canal and distributed to 23 states.

Swamibu / Flickr

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington state Health Department has closed some beaches to oyster harvesting at Samish Bay and the Hood Canal near Hoodsport because several people who ate raw oysters were sickened by a bacterial disease called vibriosis.