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Research Briefs by Year: 2023

Superfund Research Program

  • 337 - Dioxin Disrupts Liver Cells in Mice, Potential Link with Liver Disease -- Zacharewski, Nault
    Release Date: 01/11/2023

    An NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded study in mice reported that exposure to a type of dioxin can alter cells in the liver, their metabolic characteristics, and how they are organized within the liver. According to the researchers, these changes in cell behavior and organization play a role in the development of dioxin-induced liver diseases, such as fibrosis and fatty liver disease.

  • 338 - Combining Analytical Chemistry and Machine Learning to Detangle Mixtures -- Halas
    Release Date: 02/01/2023

    NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded researchers demonstrated a significant step toward identifying individual chemical components in complex mixtures. Their approach uses advanced analytical techniques and sophisticated machine learning approaches while overcoming the time-consuming separation steps that preceded traditional chemical analysis.

  • 339 - New Model Estimates PFAS Exposures From Contaminated Drinking Water -- Chiu
    Release Date: 03/01/2023

    Researchers partially funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) developed a model to estimate individual exposure to four per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) commonly found in drinking water. The model integrates published data from multiple studies on PFAS levels in human blood along with measured PFAS concentrations in drinking water. Tools for estimating PFAS exposure from contaminated drinking water can inform public health risk assessments and advisories.

  • 340 - Mimicking Molecules Made by Bacteria to Remove Metals From Water -- Maier
    Release Date: 04/05/2023

    NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded scientists developed a method to extract metals from water using synthetic molecules inspired by those produced by bacteria. The biodegradable molecules, called rhamnolipids, could one day be used to remove toxic metals or extract rare and valuable elements from aqueous mining and industrial waste.

  • 341 - Fighting Fluorine with Fluorine: New Materials Remove PFAS from Groundwater -- May
    Release Date: 05/03/2023

    Researchers funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) created a novel class of materials that can attract and remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from water. According to the authors, the new technology — called Fluor Mop — can be regenerated, reused, and is potentially less expensive than current remediation strategies.

  • 342 - Exposure to PCBs During Nursing Leads to Temporary Diabetes-Related Health Effect -- Pearson
    Release Date: 06/07/2023

    Exposure to synthetic chemicals called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) through a mother's milk could cause short-term glucose intolerance in offspring, according to a study by researchers from the University of Kentucky (UK) and funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP). Intolerance to glucose, signified by high blood levels of the sugar, is a hallmark of diabetes. The study, conducted with mice, builds on earlier SRP-funded work by the same group that found connections between maternal PCB exposure and diabetes risk factors in progeny.

  • 343 - Cadmium-Linked Inflammation Increases the Severity of Lung Infection -- Carter
    Release Date: 07/12/2023

    Researchers funded in part by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) uncovered a key mechanism explaining how inflammation caused by cadmium exposure makes lung infections more severe and deadly.

  • 344 - Benzene Exposure During Pregnancy Affects Later-Life Metabolic Health -- Sadagurski
    Release Date: 08/02/2023

    Prenatal exposure to the air pollutant benzene may lead to a higher risk of metabolic diseases later in life, according to a study in mice partially funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP). Benzene affects neurodevelopment, predisposing offspring to harmful metabolic effects, according to a research team led by Marianna Sadagurski, Ph.D., of the Wayne State University SRP Center.

  • 345 - Modified Iron Particles Could Improve Bioremediation of PFAS -- Jaffe
    Release Date: 09/06/2023

    Iron particles coated in a nontoxic material may enhance PFAS degradation by a certain bacterium, according to researchers funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program. The study could inform bioremediation efforts that harness the microbe, known as Acidimicrobium Strain A6, for cleaning up contaminated soil, sediments, and aquifers.

  • 346 - Mechanism of Cadmium-induced Neurotoxicity, Potential Treatment Revealed -- Lu
    Release Date: 10/04/2023

    A particular class of extracellular vesicles protects against neurotoxicity caused by cadmium exposure, according to an NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded study. Extracellular vesicles are small packages of fats, nucleic acids, or proteins that allow cells to communicate with each other and support numerous cellular functions.

  • 347 - High-Temperature Biochar for Arsenic Remediation -- Duckworth
    Release Date: 11/01/2023

    Adding biochar produced at a high temperature may be an effective way to immobilize arsenic in sediment, according to researchers partially funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP). The study, led by Owen Duckworth, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill SRP Center, in partnership with researchers from the Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Brazil, also provided further insight into the conditions that influenced the effectiveness of biochar for soil remediation.

  • 348 - Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals, PAHs Interact to Increase Toxicity of Particulate Mixtures -- Lomnicki
    Release Date: 12/13/2023

    Toxic air pollutants called environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs) may react with certain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on the surface of airborne particles to form more toxic chemicals, according to researchers funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP). The study, led by Slawomir Lomnicki, Ph.D., of the Louisiana State University SRP Center, demonstrated that interactions between components of fine particulate matter mixtures may enhance their overall toxicity.

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