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Research Briefs by Year: 2021

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Superfund Research Program

  • 313 - New Model to Examine PFAS Sheds Light on Lipid Disruption Mechanisms -- Schlezinger, Webster
    Release Date: 01/13/2021

    Researchers from the Boston University (BU) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center developed a novel study design that generated new insight on the effects of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) on cholesterol regulation in the liver. Led by Jennifer Schlezinger, Ph.D., the team also investigated the molecular mechanisms of action, focusing on effects of PFOA on the human peroxisome proliferator activated receptor α (hPPARα), a transcription factor that regulates lipid homeostasis.

  • 314 - Triclosan and a High-fat Diet Worsen Liver Disease in Mice -- Tukey
    Release Date: 02/03/2021

    A new study funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) shows triclosan exposure, in combination with a high-fat diet, can worsen nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Led by Robert Tukey, Ph.D., researchers at the University of California San Diego SRP Center described the molecular mechanisms by which triclosan alters metabolism and gut microbiota, resulting in fat buildup in the liver.

  • 315 - Modeling and Field Tests Yield Promising Results for Aquifer Clean Up -- Christenson, Comfort
    Release Date: 03/03/2021

    NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees have developed novel, slow-release oxidant-paraffin candles that dissolve and degrade chlorinated contaminants in underground aquifers. The grant recipient, small business AirLift Environmental, worked with partners at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to optimize this groundwater clean-up method and demonstrated its effectiveness in a field study.

  • 316 - Arsenic Exposure Before Conception May Trigger Diabetes in Male Offspring -- Fry, Styblo
    Release Date: 04/07/2021

    Exposure to inorganic arsenic before conception can alter metabolic outcomes in the offspring of mice, with different effects among males and females, according to a new study. Researchers reported, for the first time, a link between changes in gene expression in parents’ reproductive cells and diabetic indicators in offspring.

  • 317 - New Technique Sheds Light on PFAS in Coastal Watersheds -- Sunderland
    Release Date: 05/05/2021

    A new analytical workflow, developed by NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees, can identify and characterize previously undetected per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) compounds in contaminated watersheds. The team is led by Elsie Sunderland, Ph.D., of the University of Rhode Island SRP Center, and SRP trainee Bridger Ruyle, a doctoral student at Harvard.

  • 318 - Combined Approach Sheds Light on Factors Controlling Stream Recovery -- Clements
    Release Date: 06/02/2021

    Improved water quality and stream ecosystem recovery following treatment of mine waste depends on a mix of physical, chemical, and biological factors, according to a new study funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) at the Colorado School of Mines. William Clements, Ph.D., professor at Colorado State University, and two doctoral students, led the study.

  • 319 - Analyzing Chemicals and Genes Yields Novel Insight into PAH Behavior -- Simonich
    Release Date: 07/07/2021

    A new NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded study revealed how polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) breakdown and transform in the presence of ultraviolet A (UVA) light and titanium dioxide nanoparticle pollutants. Their findings have important implications for PAH cleanup, which may not consider how PAHs transform in diverse environments.

  • 320 - Characterizing Arsenic Exposure in Public Water Supplies and Private Wells -- Navas-Acien
    Release Date: 08/04/2021

    A recent NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded study revealed that while arsenic concentrations in community water systems (CWS) have decreased over time, certain populations are still vulnerable to elevated levels of arsenic.

  • 321 - First-of-its-Kind Arsenic Meta-Analysis Paves the Way for Future Data Integration -- Cardenas, Gamble
    Release Date: 09/01/2021

    Researchers from NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) centers at the University of California (UC), Berkeley and Columbia University used advanced analysis techniques to combine data from populations in Chile and Bangladesh. The purpose was to detect common DNA methylation (DNAm) signatures associated with arsenic exposure.

  • 322 - Helping Communities Monitor Air Pollution Using Plants -- Ramirez-Andreotta
    Release Date: 10/06/2021

    An NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded study revealed that certain plants can be used to effectively monitor metals and other pollutants in air. Community members collected environmental data used in the study as part of the Gardenroots project, which involves residents in research activities to evaluate human and environmental health effects near former and operating mining sites in Arizona. The study was led by University of Arizona SRP Center researcher Monica Ramirez-Andreotta, Ph.D.

  • 323 - New Passive Sampling Device for PFAS -- Lohmann, Hurt
    Release Date: 11/03/2021

    Researchers from the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded centers at the University of Rhode Island (URI) and Brown University developed a new type of passive sampling device for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Their new tool overcomes many limitations to traditional approaches, such as detecting short-chain PFAS and low concentrations of the chemicals in water.

  • 324 - Combined Approach Sheds Light on Global Cancer Risk -- Selin
    Release Date: 12/01/2021

    About 90% of the global lung cancer risk from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) does not come from benzo(a)pyrene, according to a study funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP). Some of these compounds are not regularly monitored.

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