Health

New Report Finds EPA's Controlled Human Exposure Studies of Air Pollution Are Warranted
March 28, 2017 02:21 PM - National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carries out experiments in which volunteer participants agree to be intentionally exposed by inhalation to specific pollutants at restricted concentrations over short periods to obtain important information about the effects of outdoor air pollution on human health.  A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine finds these studies are warranted and recommends that they continue under ­­two conditions: when they provide additional knowledge that informs policy decisions and regulation of pollutants that cannot be obtained by other means, and when it is reasonably predictable that the risks for study participants will not exceed biomarker or physiologic responses that are of short duration and reversible.

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Fluorescence method detects mercury contamination in fish
February 21, 2017 11:25 AM - Plataforma SINC

Researchers from the University of Burgos (Spain) have developed a fluorescent polymer that lights up in contact with mercury that may be present in fish. High levels of the metal were detected in samples of swordfish and tuna. According to the conclusions of another Spanish study, mercury exposure is linked to reduced foetal and placental growth in pregnant women.

The presence of the toxic metal mercury in the environment comes from natural sources, however, in the last decades industrial waste has caused an increase in concentrations of the metal in some areas of the sea. In the food chain, mercury can be diluted either in organic form as methylmercury (MeHg+) or as an inorganic salt, the cation Hg2+.

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SPOTLIGHT

Atomic map gives malaria drug new lease on life

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

Researchers have for the first time mapped how one of the longest-serving malaria drugs works, opening the possibility of altering its structure to make it more effective and combat increasing malaria drug resistance.

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