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Your Environment. Your Health.

Research Briefs by Year: 2017

Superfund Research Program

  • 265 - The Genetics Behind the Killifish's Adaptation to Pollution -- Hahn
    Release Date: 01/04/2017

    Killifish living in four polluted East Coast estuaries have adapted quickly to survive high levels of toxic industrial pollutants. In a new study, researchers explored the complex genetics involved in the Atlantic killifish’s resilience, bringing us one step closer to understanding how they rapidly evolved to tolerate normally lethal levels of environmental contaminants. Exploring the evolutionary basis for these genetic changes may provide new information about the mechanisms of environmental chemical toxicity in both animals and humans.

  • 266 - Using Surfactants to Enhance Bioremediation of PAHs in Soil -- Aitken
    Release Date: 02/01/2017

    A second-stage treatment using low levels of surfactants, which are commonly used as dispersing agents, may be a promising method to maximize removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at hazardous waste sites, according to findings from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Superfund Research Program (UNC SRP) Center. Researchers identified specific surfactants that enhanced the removal of PAHs from previously treated soil by making the chemicals more accessible for degradation by bacteria.

  • 267 - Cell-Based Models Reveal Differences in How PAH Mixtures Affect Neurodevelopment -- Slotkin
    Release Date: 03/01/2017

    Exposure to a mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) may produce different neurodevelopmental effects from those of exposure to individual PAHs, and the developing brain may be sensitive to these contaminants over a wide window of development, according to a Duke University Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center study.

  • 268 - Prenatal Arsenic Exposure Alters Newborn Metabolite Profiles -- Fry
    Release Date: 04/05/2017

    Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Superfund Research Program (UNC SRP) Center have identified metabolites in umbilical cord blood that are associated with exposure to arsenic in the womb. The findings also show that differences in a mother's metabolism of arsenic may influence the metabolite profile of her baby. Assessing changes in the newborn's metabolite profile by looking at the full range of metabolites, or metabolome, may provide insight into how prenatal arsenic exposure could affect important pathways responsible for maintaining normal cell processes in the body.

  • 269 - Platform Allows Rapid Analysis of Antioxidant Genes in Zebrafish -- Gallagher
    Release Date: 05/03/2017

    A newly developed panel of zebrafish genes can be combined with a rapid testing platform to identify chemicals that induce oxidative stress, according to researchers at the University of Washington (UW) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center. The method, optimized for use on larval zebrafish by UW SRP Center researchers, is cost-effective and can be performed more quickly and with less tissue than conventional methods.

  • 270 - Prenatal PCE Exposure and Maternal Alcohol Use Linked to Increased Risks of Teenage Drug Use -- Aschengrau
    Release Date: 06/07/2017

    Prenatal exposure to both alcohol and tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene or PCE, may increase the risk of using multiple illicit drugs as a teenager, according to a study by Boston University Superfund Research Program (BU SRP) Center researchers. PCE is a solvent frequently used in dry cleaning solutions, adhesives, metal degreasers, and other commercial products.

  • 271 - New 3D Fish Liver Model for Aquatic Toxicology -- Kane
    Release Date: 07/12/2017

    Researchers at the Brown University Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center have developed a new 3D liver cell model that can be used to screen chemicals for toxicity in fish. The new model uses fish liver cells cultured to form 3D microtissue, so researchers can assess liver toxicants over time and after single and repeated exposures.

  • 272 - TBT Alters Bone Marrow Microenvironment and Suppresses Important Immune Cells -- Schlezinger
    Release Date: 08/02/2017

    Researchers at the Boston University Superfund Research Program (BU SRP) Center reported that tributyltin (TBT) may promote aging-related problems in immune health. The team, led by Jennifer Schlezinger, Ph.D., found that TBT impacts bone marrow B cells directly by triggering cell death and indirectly by changing the microenvironment of bone marrow vital for supporting immune health.

  • 273 - Susceptibility to Arsenic-Induced Skin Lesions Influenced by DNA Differences -- Ahsan
    Release Date: 09/06/2017

    New research shows that deletions or duplications of long stretches of DNA, also known as copy number variations (CNVs), that occur in several gene locations are associated with a higher risk of developing arsenic-induced skin lesions. Skin lesions are a hallmark of arsenic toxicity that appear relatively early with chronic arsenic exposure. This newly discovered link may help to explain why some people exposed to arsenic develop skin lesions and get sick while others exposed to the same levels do not.

  • 274 - Endophytes Help Poplar Trees Clean Up TCE on Superfund Site -- Blaylock
    Release Date: 10/04/2017

    Poplar trees can capture and remove trichloroethylene (TCE) from the soil and degrade it. Now, a method using endophytes, symbiotic microbes that live within a plant, has been successfully shown to boost the speed and effectiveness of this natural degradation process. Researchers led by Edenspace Systems Corporation, a Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded small business, conducted the first large-scale experiment on a Superfund site using poplar trees fortified with a microbial endophyte to clean up TCE-contaminated groundwater.

  • 275 - Activated Carbon Reduces the Effects of TCDD on the Immune System and Gut Microbiome in a Mammalian Model -- Boyd, Hashsham
    Release Date: 11/01/2017

    Breakthroughs from the Michigan State University Superfund Research Program (MSU SRP) Center provide new evidence that activated carbon may be used to reduce health risks resulting from dioxin contamination.

  • 276 - Novel Cobamide Structure May Hold Clues for More Effective Biological Degradation of Chlorinated Compounds -- Loeffler
    Release Date: 12/06/2017

    Researchers at the University of Tennessee have discovered a crucial compound that helps specific bacteria degrade pollutants like tetrachloroethene (PCE). This compound, called purinyl-cobamide, assists enzymes during degradation reactions.

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