People respond differently to environmental exposures, and there are a lot of factors that may account for these differences. Factors such as age, sex, and health status, as well as genes and gut microbiomes, can play a role.
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.
Understanding individual variability is important to understanding why, after being exposed to environmental chemicals, some people are affected and some are not. NIEHS-funded Superfund Research Program (SRP) scientists and engineers study the mechanisms involved in the body's response to environmental stressors. Insight into biological differences and how people may be affected by environmental pollutants can improve public health decision making.
The SRP celebrated its 300th Research Brief in December. The first Research Brief was released in 1997 and featured work from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) SRP Center. As part of the milestone, the SRP announced a new monthly feature of the Research Brief, a summary video. The summary videos are posted each month to the NIEHS YouTube channel and each Research Brief page.
Exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as well as inadequate oxygen supply, or hypoxia, can lead to a broad range of effects on the mitochondria of zebrafish, according to an SRP-funded study. Changes to the function and integrity of mitochondria, which are organelles that make energy for the cell, can disrupt metabolism and reduce organism fitness and performance. Duke University SRP Center researchers led by trainee Casey Lindberg, Ph.D., and project leader Richard Di Giulio, Ph.D., used zebrafish as a model to study the potential interactions between PAHs and hypoxia and their effect on mitochondria.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) SRP Center researchers developed a new screening method that can detect a broad range of DNA damage in cells, including a common type of damage known as a bulky lesion. According to the researchers, this new method fills a gap in DNA damage testing and could make chemical safety testing faster, easier, and more accurate.