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What's New: Paper of the Month

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Superfund Research Program

Paper of the Month
Extramural Paper of the Month: Rapid-Imaging Method Leverages Machine Learning to Study Immune Cells
Paper of the Month - February 14, 2024

Researchers at the North Carolina State University Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center and small business collaborators developed a new approach that combines advanced imaging methods with machine learning to rapidly image and count neutrophils, a type of immune cell, in zebrafish embryos. Research suggests that exposure to environmental pollutants can decrease neutrophil levels, emphasizing the need for strategies to screen chemicals affecting neutrophil counts.

Paper of the Month
Extramural Paper of the Month: Culinary-Inspired Technique Removes Arsenic from Water
Paper of the Month - February 14, 2024

A new approach developed by Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded researchers improved the ability of carbon-based filters to remove arsenic from drinking water. This method, which is inspired by a cooking technique known as sous vide, may offer a cheaper and more practical solution to prevent arsenic exposure.

Paper of the Month
Extramural Paper of the Month: New Method Generates Airborne Free Radicals for Laboratory Study
Paper of the Month - December 7, 2023

NIEHS-funded researchers developed a new approach to improve how environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs) are generated and studied in the lab at the Louisiana State University SRP Center. This strategy addresses a deficiency in methods to simulate realistic environmental exposures in animals.

Paper of the Month
Extramural Paper of the Month: Microbial process for PFAS breakdown uncovered
Paper of the Month - December 7, 2023

A study funded by SRP, at the University of California, Riverside, revealed important mechanistic information about how some microbes break down PFAS in the environment. The findings may inspire more cost-effective bioremediation approaches.

Paper of the Month
Extramural Paper of the Month: Emissions from indoor flooring reflect airborne PCB levels
Paper of the Month - November 17, 2023

Chemical emissions from flooring can predict polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations in room air, according to NIEHS-supported research. The findings could inform targeted remediation strategies for indoor spaces.

Paper of the Month
Extramural Paper of the Month: Mobile Air Pollution Monitoring Following an Environmental Disaster
Paper of the Month - October 20, 2023

Texas A&M University SRP Center researchers deployed a mobile air monitoring van in East Palestine, Ohio, following a train derailment. The van contained real-time, highly sensitive instrumentation to perform air quality analysis, and was driven around locations up- and down-wind of the train derailment for two days.

Paper of the Month
Extramural Paper of the Month: Dogs and Horses May Be Important Indicators of PFAS Exposure
Paper of the Month - October 20, 2023

Scientists with North Carolina State University SRP Center measured levels of PFAS in dogs, horses, and children in towns downstream of a PFAS manufacturing plant after the community voiced concern about the health of their pets and families. The authors identified concentrations of two types of PFAS in dogs that were similar to the concentrations found in children from another North Carolina town.

Paper of the Month
Extramural Paper of the Month: Metal Mixtures Linked with Biological Aging
Paper of the Month - October 20, 2023

NIEHS-funded researchers with the Columbia University SRP Center identified metals that were associated with biological age acceleration, where exposure may be a risk factor for aging-related diseases in Native American communities. Although metal exposure may speed age acceleration, exposures are preventable, and the authors findings provide an additional strategy to prevent premature mortality.

Paper of the Month
Extramural Paper of the Month: Stricter Drinking Water Standards for Arsenic Benefit Highly Exposed Populations
Paper of the Month - September 11, 2023

A federal regulation lowering the amount of arsenic allowed in public water systems reduced arsenic exposure among communities across the U.S., found researchers at the Columbia University Northern Plains SRP Center.

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Paper of the Month: Key Gene Expression Changes in the Placenta May Predict Autism Diagnosis
Paper of the Month - August 4, 2023

Researchers partly funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) identified key changes in placental gene expression that are associated with the development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children born preterm. The study was led by a team at the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill SRP Center.

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Paper of the Month: Prenatal Benzene Exposure May Have Lifelong Metabolic Consequences
Paper of the Month - August 4, 2023

Prenatal exposure to benzene may predispose offspring to metabolic diseases later in life, according to a study in mice. Partly funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP), the study was led by researchers at the Wayne State University SRP Center.

Paper of the Month
Paper of the Month: PFAS Exposure May Interfere with Dieting Success
Paper of the Month - July 6, 2023

Exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) can hinder dieting efforts to lose weight, according to a study by the University of Rhode Island SRP Center. PFAS, which are found in numerous industrial and consumer products, have been linked to various health problems, including metabolic changes and obesity.

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Paper of the Month: DNA-Based Sensor Rapidly Detects Pesticide Contamination
Paper of the Month - June 2, 2023

Researchers at the University of California, Davis SRP Center developed a DNA-based sensor that can detect trace amounts of organophosphate pesticides in food products.

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Paper of the Month: New Technology Can Remove PFAS from Water
Paper of the Month - June 2, 2023

SRP-funded small business Weaver Labs developed a novel technology to clean up water contaminated with PFAS. Their materials can be reused multiple times and are potentially less expensive than current remediation technologies, the authors said.

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Paper of the Month: Environmental Degradation May Increase Microplastics' Toxicity
Paper of the Month - June 2, 2023

Environmental factors, such as ultraviolet (UV) light, can alter the chemistry of miniscule plastic fragments, potentially increasing their toxicity on lung cells, according to a University of New Mexico SRP Center study.

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Paper of the Month: DNA Mapping Reveals Genetic Variants Involved in Arsenic Metabolism in Diverse Populations
Paper of the Month - April 1, 2023

By analyzing DNA from people of different ancestries, researchers at the Columbia University SRP-Center and collaborators identified several inherited genetic variants that could influence individual sensitivity to arsenic exposure. The findings point to potential biological mechanisms underpinning arsenic toxicity.

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Extramural Paper of the Month: Body Weight and Arsenic Exposure Interact to Worsen Type 2 Diabetes Indicators in Mice
Paper of the Month - March 1, 2023

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill SRP Center uncovered complex interactions between exposure to arsenic, body weight and composition, and indicators of type 2 diabetes in Diversity Outbred (DO) mice. DO mice better capture the genetic diversity of human populations, which may help explain differences in susceptibility to arsenic-induced disease.

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Extramural Paper of the Month: Diet May Protect Against Metabolic Effects of PFOS
Paper of the Month - March 1, 2023

Dietary fiber may protect against metabolic and liver diseases related to perfluorooctoane sulfonate (PFOS) exposure, according to research by the University of Kentucky SRP Center.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Geospatial Analysis Shows Disproportionate Exposure to Arsenic and Uranium Across the U.S.
Paper of the Month - February 6, 2023

Researchers at the Columbia University SRP Center found that higher proportions of people belonging to racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. are associated with significantly higher arsenic and uranium concentrations in their drinking water compared with non-Hispanic White residents.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Validating cell-based approaches for analyzing risk of exposure to industrial chemicals TCE and PCE
Paper of the Month - February 6, 2023

Cell-based experiments can provide relevant estimates of trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) metabolism in humans and associated health risks, found researchers at the Texas A&M University SRP Center.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Grouping wildfire exposures for improved health risk assessments
Paper of the Month - February 6, 2023

SRP-funded researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill developed a computer-based approach to group wildfire exposure conditions based on their effect on genetic expression and potential health risks.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Bacteria that Degrade PCBs in Sediment Can Reduce Chemical Emissions to Surrounding Air
Paper of the Month - January 1, 2023

Adding bacteria that can break down polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to contaminated sediments reduced the release of the chemicals into surrounding air, according to researchers at the University of Iowa SRP Center. PCBs are a family of more than 200 structurally similar chemicals that have been linked to a range of adverse health effects, including some cancers.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Alligators Exposed to Elevated Levels of PFAS Show Signs of Immune Disruption
Paper of the Month - December 1, 2022

North Carlina State University SRP Center researchers found that American alligators living in North Carolina’s Cape Fear River had elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their blood and associated signs of immune dysfunction.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Gut Microbiome Associated with Arsenic Metabolism in Infants
Paper of the Month - December 1, 2022

Microbes in the human digestive system may complement a person’s ability to metabolize arsenic, particularly in the first few weeks of life, according to a Dartmouth College study funded partly by SRP. The association appears to be stronger for infants delivered by caesarean, the team found.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Moth: Triclosan Can Be Passed Through Milk, Increase Risk of Liver Disease
Paper of the Month - October 1, 2022

Researchers funded by NIEHS found that newborn mice can be exposed to the antibacterial chemical triclosan through breastmilk, leading to increased liver disease risk. According to the authors, these findings are relevant because liver disease in children is escalating in the U.S., with a limited mechanistic understanding.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Link Between Exposure to Wildfire Smoke and Cardiovascular Harm Revealed
Paper of the Month - October 1, 2022

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill SRP Center uncovered the biological mechanisms by which exposure to wildfire smoke harms the heart and lungs in mice. Wildfires are growing in intensity and frequency, posing a threat to public health worldwide. Although evidence links wildfire exposure with cardiopulmonary effects, the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Prioritizing Understudied Compounds in Chemical Mixtures Could Offer Insight into Breast Cancer Risk
Paper of the Month - September 2, 2022

Researchers funded by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill SRP Center identified understudied chemicals that frequently occur in the same products as those linked to breast cancer.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Future Flooding May Exacerbate Disparities in Exposure to Hazardous Pollution
Paper of the Month - September 1, 2022

Increased flooding from climate change in the U.S. will likely expose more people to legacy waste from former industrial sites, according to an SRP-funded study at Brown University.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Prenatal Exposure to Chemical Mixtures Worsens Working Memory in Adolescents
Paper of the Month - July 8, 2022

Prenatal exposure to chemical mixtures worsens working memory in adolescents, according to research by the Harvard School of Public Health SRP Center.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Link Between Placenta and Fetal Brain May Predict Neurodevelopment Disorders
Paper of the Month - May 19, 2022

An SRP-funded study in mice showed that prenatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) altered DNA methylation in both the placenta and fetal brain in a manner consistent with neurodevelopmental disorders. The research was conducted at the University of California, Davis SRP Center.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Tropical Cyclones Linked to Rise in U.S. Deaths
Paper of the Month - May 19, 2022

Over the last three decades, tropical cyclones in the U.S. were associated with higher death rates in subsequent months, according to a study by the Columbia University SRP Center. The study included data on deaths in U.S. counties that experienced at least one tropical cyclone between 1988 and 2018.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Data Mining Study Sheds Light on Factors Contributing to Preterm Birth Disparities
Paper of the Month - April 1, 2022

Researchers at the Northeastern University SRP Center used a data mining approach to identify a diverse set of chemicals that may contribute to disparities in preterm birth among different populations.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Pine Needles Work as Passive Samplers for PFAS
Paper of the Month - April 1, 2022

North Carolina State University SRP Center researchers showed that pine needles can be used as a tool to monitor the presence and distribution of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) over time.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Exposure to PCB Mixture Mimicking School Air Linked to Range of Health Effects
Paper of the Month - April 1, 2022

Long-term exposure to polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixtures in school air may affect the nervous and immune systems, according to an SRP-funded study in rats.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Leveraging Unused Samples to Predict Metal Exposures
Paper of the Month - March 1, 2022

University of Iowa SRP Center researchers demonstrated a robust approach for predicting exposure to arsenic and manganese using a commonly stored but often unused biological sample. As an alternative to using whole blood, their method used only the clotted erythrocyte fraction to track metal exposures.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Changes in Gut, Liver may Contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease Susceptibility
Paper of the Month - March 1, 2022

Researchers at the University of Washington SRP Center determined how changes in the gut and liver may contribute to cadmium-induced Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Database reveals toxic metals in private well water in NC
Paper of the Month - February 1, 2022

Leveraging two decades of well water data in North Carolina, investigators at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) SRP Center reported residents are exposed to arsenic and lead above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Biosensor Characterizes Contaminants and Potential Health Risks After Disasters
Paper of the Month - January 3, 2022

A sophisticated biosensor may provide information about polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon distribution and potential toxicity in the aftermath of natural disasters, according to an SRP-funded study. By rapidly characterizing and prioritizing samples for study, the tool supports disaster research response where time and resources are limited.

Paper of the Month or Year
Extramural Paper of the Month: Microbiome Affects Early Childhood Behavior Differently in Girls and Boys
Paper of the Month - January 3, 2022

Bacteria in the gut of young children may relate to behavioral disorders, affecting girls and boys differently, according to an SRP-funded study at the Dartmouth College SRP Center. This is one of the first studies to examine associations between the microbiome and a broad range of behavioral outcomes that may vary by sex.

Paper of the Month or Year
2021 Papers of the Year: Plant Leaves Work as Reliable Air Monitor in Citizen-Science Study
Paper of the Month - January 3, 2022

Working with citizen-scientists, University of Arizona SRP Center researchers demonstrated that leaves can be used as a low-cost, reliable method to assess the level of metals in airborne dust.

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