Hot Off the Press
The Superfund Research Program (SRP) regularly highlights basic and applied research and activities from the program, spanning multiple disciplines.
The SRP Occupational and Safety Training Education Programs on Emerging Technologies (R25) grants are awarded to institutes of higher education to support activities that complement or enhance workforce training that meets the nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. This includes the development of educational activities, curricula, tools, and methods for industrial hygienists and graduate students involved in the research, evaluation, management, and handling of hazardous substances.
Chronic liver inflammation can promote cancer by suppressing one of the body’s natural mechanisms to fight cancer development, according to SRP researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The study explains the success of some types of cancer immunotherapy and suggests novel targets for new therapies.
Collecting saliva may be a practical alternative to blood for characterizing a person's exposures, according to new research from the SRP Center at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. The researchers found that saliva contains a rich set of molecular information that can
be used to construct individual exposure histories and discover risk factors for chronic diseases.
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.
Environmental Factor Articles
The SRP marked its 30th anniversary at the annual meeting Dec. 6 - 8 in Philadelphia. SRP researchers, administrators, trainees, and other partners shared findings and discussed experiences with community engagement and research translation. The meeting was hosted by the University of Pennsylvania SRP Center.
A suite of new articles describes the latest science on the fate and effects of mercury. The articles inform activities under the Minamata Convention, a global treaty on mercury that was ratified in August 2017. The papers were published in a special section of the journal Ambio, in the March 2018 issue. Organizers of the 13th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP) commissioned the papers. The conference, held during July 2017 in Providence, Rhode Island, attracted more than 1,000 participants from 50 countries.
The SRP selected Angela Gutierrez, from the University of Kentucky SRP Center, as the 20th recipient of the Wetterhahn Memorial Award. She was recognized for her innovative research to develop magnetic nanoparticles coated with polyphenols from plants. The nanoparticles are designed to capture and remove polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from water.
For three decades, the SRP Center at the University of California, Berkeley has been at the forefront of important scientific discoveries, launching new programs and research initiatives. At a Jan. 30 event, researchers and program partners looked back at the center’s history and how it has evolved to meet new research needs. Since its founding in 1987 under the leadership of Martyn Smith, Ph.D., the center has grown and adapted to meet ever-changing environmental and health concerns. Today, the center aims to understand how the environment contributes to disease, and to create prevention and cleanup strategies that protect human health and the environment.
SRP researchers reported that exposure to arsenic in drinking water was significantly reduced among Americans using public water systems after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lowered maximum levels of arsenic in 2006. The new findings, reported Oct. 22 in the journal Lancet Public Health, confirmed that federal drinking water regulations helped decrease toxic exposure and protect human health. Columbia SRP Center graduate student Anne Nigra was the lead author on the study.
Risk e-Learning Webinars
The spring 2018 Risk e-Learning webinar series will focus on new approaches and alternatives for toxicity, fate and transport, and ecotoxicity testing. Details will be posted to the SRP Risk e-Learning website as they become available.
Last fall, the SRP hosted a seminar series focused on adverse outcome pathways (AOPs), which are structured ways to represent biological events leading to adverse health effects. The AOP framework was developed to organize biological and toxicological information linking molecular-level changes by stressors to potential health endpoints. In total, this series attracted 764 live participants, 910 online archive views, 1,308 audio podcast downloads, and 11,418 video podcast downloads.
The first session, Introduction to the Adverse Outcome Pathway Framework, was held on Wednesday, Oct. 17. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staff provided an introduction and overview of AOPs and discussed the AOP Knowledge Base, which is designed to house descriptions of the biological mechanisms underlying chemical toxicity in a structured manner.
The second session, Assembling and Assessing AOP Information, was held on Wednesday, Nov. 29. Speakers discussed the development of AOPs and how they may be used to support hazard and risk assessment.
More information and links to view the archives are available on the SRP Risk e-Learning webpage. Risk e-Learning webinars are conducted by the SRP in collaboration with the EPA.