Since 1988, the SRP has invested in pioneering work in bioremediation, which refers to the use of bacteria, fungi, and plants to reduce the amount or toxicity of hazardous substances in the environment. Now in our 33rd year, we see the impact SRP-funded bioremediation research has had on the field.
Welcome to the Superfund Basic Research and Training Program (SRP) Science Digest!
Below you'll find a compilation of SRP research, which provides practical, scientific solutions to protect health, the environment, and communities. For more information about the program, visit the SRP website.
You also can view past issues of the Science Digest.
SRP researchers study bacterial communities in the environment to understand how they can be used as a tool to clean up chemicals. They also study bacterial communities in our bodies to explore how exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals can alter the human microbiome and affect our health. Although the initial goals are different, some techniques and expertise can be similar. Both approaches improve our understanding of the mechanisms involved in how microbial communities interact with different contaminants.
The SRP Annual Meeting, held November 18 – 20 in Seattle, brought together SRP researchers, trainees, administrators, and partners to share findings and discuss research translation, community engagement, and training. The meeting centered on “Data to Knowledge to Action” and emphasized how fundamental research has stimulated knowledge translation, training, and prevention and intervention activities. Presenters discussed novel techniques to evaluate the effects of hazardous substances, new exposure science and detection technologies, and remediation strategies. The meeting also emphasized the importance of engaging with local communities and included perspectives from members of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, a University of Washington SRP Center community partner.
Hot Off the Press
(Image from He et al. 2019, ACS Sensors)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology SRP Center researchers have developed a sensitive and inexpensive carbon nanotube-based sensor that can measure N-nitrosamines in air. Classified as probable human carcinogens, N-nitrosamines are formed as by-products during manufacturing and have been found widely in air, water, and food.
Microvi Biotechnologies, Inc., an SRP-funded small business, has recently shown unprecedented removal rates of 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (TCP) and co-contaminants using its co-metabolism treatment technology. TCP, which was historically used in solvents and soil fumigants, can leech into groundwater and subsequently household drinking water. It has been associated with increased risk for cancer along with various illnesses, including liver or kidney disease.