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Environmental toxin

Justin T Clapp, Jody A Roberts, Britt Dahlberg, Lee Sullivan Berry, Lisa M Jacobs, Edward A Emmett, Frances K Barg
Research on community responses to environmental toxicity has richly described the struggles of citizens to identify unrecognized toxins, collect their own environmental health facts, and use them to lobby authorities for recognition and remediation. Much of this literature is based on an empiricist premise: it is concerned with exploring differences in how laypeople and experts perceive what is presumed to be a singular toxic reality that preexists these varying perspectives. Here, we seek to reexamine this topic by shifting the focus from facts to facticity-that is, by exploring the many types of knowledge that communities develop about toxicity and how these knowledges articulate with the ideas of scientific and governmental authorities about what kinds of information are valid bases for policymaking...
October 20, 2016: Social Science & Medicine
Eileen K Jaffe
Porphobilinogen synthase (PBGS), also known as 5-aminolevulinate dehydratase, is an essential enzyme in the biosynthesis of all tetrapyrroles, which function in respiration, photosynthesis, and methanogenesis. Throughout evolution, PBGS adapted to a diversity of cellular niches and evolved to use an unusual variety of metal ions both for catalytic function and to control protein multimerization. With regard to the active site, some PBGSs require Zn(2+); a subset of those, including human PBGS, contain a constellation of cysteine residues that acts as a sink for the environmental toxin Pb(2+)...
October 26, 2016: Accounts of Chemical Research
Ki-Young Lee, Bong-Jin Lee
Bacterial toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems have received increasing attention for their diverse identities, structures, and functional implications in cell cycle arrest and survival against environmental stresses such as nutrient deficiency, antibiotic treatments, and immune system attacks. In this review, we describe the biological functions and the auto-regulatory mechanisms of six different types of TA systems, among which the type II TA system has been most extensively studied. The functions of type II toxins include mRNA/tRNA cleavage, gyrase/ribosome poison, and protein phosphorylation, which can be neutralized by their cognate antitoxins...
October 22, 2016: Toxins
Daniel Stern, Martin Richter, Livia Schrick, Peter Lasch, Kathrin Keeren, Angela Polleichtner, Karin Lemmer, Andreas Nitsche, Roland Grunow, Christian Herzog, Brigitte G Dorner, Lars Schaade
In Europe, besides the threat of terrorist attacks involving conventional methods such as explosive devices and automatic weapons, there is also a potential threat of terrorist groups using non-conventional material like biological agents in the scope of future attacks. Consequently, rapid and reliable detection systems for biological agents are being developed and tested continuously to inform crisis management. For environmental detection, a broad spectrum of different laboratory-based techniques has been developed for relevant biological agents...
October 24, 2016: Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz
Junhui Chen, Xin Li, Shuai Wang, Farong Chen, Wei Cao, Chengjun Sun, Li Zheng, Xiaoru Wang
This study aimed to develop an exact mass suspect screening approach to perform finding of multiple lipophilic marine toxins (LMTs) in seawater, suspended particulate matter (SPM), and marine sediment from marine aquaculture area using liquid chromatography-time of flight mass spectrometry (LC-TOF/MS). The method was validated and proven to be reliable for the screening of various LMTs. Then, the method was applied to screen LMTs in marine environmental samples collected from mariculture area of Jiaozhou Bay, China...
October 21, 2016: Chemosphere
Qihua Huang, Hao Wang
The question of the effects of environmental toxins on ecological communities is of great interest from both environmental and conservational points of view. Mathematical models have been applied increasingly to predict the effects of toxins on a variety of ecological processes. Motivated by the fact that individuals with different sizes may have different sensitivities to toxins, we develop a toxin-mediated size-structured model which is given by a system of first order fully nonlinear partial differential equations (PDEs)...
August 1, 2016: Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering: MBE
Remedios Guzmán-Guillén, Alexandre Campos, Joana Machado, Marisa Freitas, Joana Azevedo, Edgar Pinto, Agostinho Almeida, Ana M Cameán, Vitor Vasconcelos
Natural toxins produced by freshwater cyanobacteria, such as cylindrospermopsin, have been regarded as an emergent environmental threat. Despite the risks for food safety, the impact of these water contaminants in agriculture is not yet fully understood. Carrots (Daucus carota) are root vegetables, extensively consumed worldwide with great importance for human nourishment and economy. It is, therefore, important to evaluate the possible effects of using water contaminated with cyanotoxins on carrot cultivation...
October 21, 2016: Ecotoxicology
Yaovi M G Hounmanou, Robinson H Mdegela, Tamègnon V Dougnon, Ofred J Mhongole, Edward S Mayila, Joseph Malakalinga, George Makingi, Anders Dalsgaard
BACKGROUND: Cholera, one of the world's deadliest infectious diseases, remains rampant and frequent in Tanzania and thus hinders existing control measures. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the occurrence of toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O1 in wastewater, fish and vegetables during a non-outbreak period in Morogoro, Tanzania. METHODS: From October 2014 to February 2015, 60 wastewater samples, 60 fish samples from sewage stabilization ponds and 60 wastewater irrigated vegetable samples were collected...
October 18, 2016: BMC Research Notes
J Machado, J Azevedo, M Freitas, E Pinto, A Almeida, V Vasconcelos, A Campos
Toxic cyanobacterial blooms are often observed in freshwaters and may reflect the increased eutrophication of these environments and alterations in climate. Cyanotoxins, such as microcystins (MCs), are an effective threat to many life forms, ranging from plants to humans. Despite the research conducted to date on cyanotoxins, the risks associated to the use of contaminated water in agriculture require further elucidation. To tackle this aim, a research was conducted with the root-vegetable Daucus carota. The specific aims of this work were the following: (i) to evaluate the effects of MC-LR on the plant growth and photosynthesis; (ii) to evaluate the nutritional quality of carrot roots; and (iii) to measure bioaccumulation...
October 18, 2016: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Christina R Tyler, Matthew T Labrecque, Elizabeth R Solomon, Xun Guo, Andrea M Allan
Exposure to arsenic, a common environmental toxin found in drinking water, leads to a host of neurological pathologies. We have previously demonstrated that developmental exposure to a low level of arsenic (50ppb) alters epigenetic processes that underlie deficits in adult hippocampal neurogenesis leading to aberrant behavior. It is unclear if arsenic impacts the programming and regulation of embryonic neurogenesis during development when exposure occurs. The master negative regulator of neural-lineage, REST/NRSF, controls the precise timing of fate specification and differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs)...
October 14, 2016: Neurotoxicology and Teratology
Karen Michael, David No, Jennifer Dankoff, Kyoyi Lee, Elisabeth Lara-Crawford, Marilyn C Roberts
Clostridium difficile is both a hospital and community acquired pathogen. The current study determined if C. difficile could be cultured from clinical laundry facility surfaces. A total of 240 surface samples were collected from dirty areas (n = 120), which handle soiled clinical linens, and from clean areas (n = 120), which process and fold the clean linens, within the University of Washington Consolidated Laundry facility in 2015. Sampling was done four times over the course of one year. The dirty area was significantly more contaminated than the clean area (21% vs 2%, p<0...
October 14, 2016: FEMS Microbiology Letters
Fazlurrahman Khan, Sandra Folarin Oloketuyi
Neurodegenerative diseases are considered a serious life-threatening issue regardless of age. Resulting nerve damage progressively affects important activities, such as, movement, coordination, balance, breathing, speech, and the functioning of vital organs. Reports on the subject have concluded that neurodegenerative disease can be caused by mutations of susceptible genes, alcohol consumption, toxins, chemicals, and other unknown environmental factors. Although several diagnostic techniques can be used to determine etiologies, the process is difficult and often fails...
October 14, 2016: Journal of Applied Microbiology
Channa Jayasumana, Carlos Orantes, Raul Herrera, Miguel Almaguer, Laura Lopez, Luis Carlos Silva, Pedro Ordunez, Sisira Siribaddana, Sarath Gunatilake, Marc E De Broe
Increase in the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is observed in Central America, Sri Lanka and other tropical countries. It is named chronic interstitial nephritis in agricultural communities (CINAC). CINAC is defined as a form of CKD that affects mainly young men, occasionally women. Its aetiology is not linked to diabetes, hypertension, glomerulopathies or other known causes. CINAC patients live and work in poor agricultural communities located in CINAC endemic areas with a hot tropical climate, and are exposed to toxic agrochemicals through work, by ingestion of contaminated food and water, or by inhalation...
October 13, 2016: Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation
Heather A Enright, Michael A Malfatti, Maike Zimmermann, Ted Ognibene, Paul Henderson, Kenneth W Turteltaub
Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) has been adopted as a powerful bioanalytical method for human studies in the areas of pharmacology and toxicology. The exquisite sensitivity (10(-18) mol) of AMS has facilitated studies of toxins and drugs at environmentally and physiologically relevant concentrations in humans. Such studies include risk assessment of environmental toxicants, drug candidate selection, absolute bioavailability determination, and more recently, assessment of drug-target binding as a biomarker of response to chemotherapy...
October 11, 2016: Chemical Research in Toxicology
Lixia Chen, Huanbiao Mo, Ling Zhao, Weimin Gao, Shu Wang, Meghan M Cromie, Chuanwen Lu, Jia-Sheng Wang, Chwan-Li Shen
Pesticides, smoke, mycotoxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and arsenic are the most common environmental toxins and toxicants to humans. These toxins and toxicants may impact on human health at the molecular (DNA, RNA, or protein), organelle (mitochondria, lysosome, or membranes), cellular (growth inhibition or cell death), tissue, organ, and systemic levels. Formation of reactive radicals, lipid peroxidation, inflammation, genotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, embryotoxicity, neurological alterations, apoptosis, and carcinogenic events are some of the mechanisms mediating the toxic effects of the environmental toxins and toxicants...
May 27, 2016: Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Anthony W DeMartino, David F Zigler, Jon M Fukuto, Peter C Ford
The overview presented here has the goal of examining whether carbon disulfide (CS2) may play a role as an endogenously generated bioregulator and/or has therapeutic value. The neuro- and reproductive system toxicity of CS2 has been documented from its long-term use in the viscose rayon industry. CS2 is also used in the production of dithiocarbamates (DTCs), which are potent fungicides and pesticides, thus raising concern that CS2 may be an environmental toxin. However, DTCs also have recognized medicinal use in the treatment of heavy metal poisonings as well as having potency for reducing inflammation...
September 27, 2016: Chemical Society Reviews
Mindy L Richlen, Oliver Zielinski, Lars Holinde, Urban Tillmann, Allan Cembella, Yihua Lyu, Donald M Anderson
The bloom-forming dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense has been extensively studied due its toxin-producing capabilities and consequent impacts to human health and economies. This study investigated the prevalence of resting cysts of A. fundyense in western Greenland and Iceland to assess the historical presence and magnitude of bloom populations in the region, and to characterize environmental conditions during summer, when bloom development may occur. Analysis of sediments collected from these locations showed that Alexandrium cysts were present at low to moderate densities in most areas surveyed, with highest densities observed in western Iceland...
2016: Marine Ecology Progress Series
Silvia Tejada, William Setzer, Maria Daglia, Seyed Fazel Nabavi, Antoni Sureda, Nady Braidy, Olga Gortzi, Seyed Mohammad Nabavi
Neurodegenerative diseases are growing inexorably as the population ages, with enormous economic and social costs. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that by 2040, neurodegenerative diseases will overtake cancer to become the second leading cause of natural death, after cardiovascular diseases. Recent investigations suggest that the combination of genes and environmental toxins may contribute to the risk of developing neurodegenerative disorders. Thus, intervention strategies aimed at reducing exposure to risk factors such as life style, smoking, diet, vitamin deficiencies, chemical exposure and pollution are warranted...
October 5, 2016: Current Drug Targets
Swapnalee Sarmah, Pooja Muralidharan, James A Marrs
Congenital anomalies, congenital defects, or birth defects are significant causes of death in infants. The most common congenital defects are congenital heart defects (CHDs) and neural tube defects (NTDs). Defects induced by genetic mutations, environmental exposure to toxins, or a combination of these effects can result in congenital malformations, leading to infant death or long-term disabilities. These defects produce significant mortality and morbidity in the affected individuals, and families are affected emotional and financially...
October 7, 2016: Birth Defects Research. Part C, Embryo Today: Reviews
Sandipan Datta, Sunil Sahdeo, Jennifer A Gray, Christophe Morriseau, Bruce D Hammock, Gino Cortopassi
Mitochondrial toxicity is emerging as a major mechanism underlying serious human health consequences. This work performs a high-throughput screen (HTS) of 176 environmental chemicals for mitochondrial toxicity utilizing a previously reported biosensor platform. This established HTS confirmed known mitochondrial toxins and identified novel mitotochondrial uncouplers such as 2, 2'-Methylenebis(4-chlorophenol) and pentachlorophenol. It also identified a mitochondrial 'structure activity relationship' (SAR) in the sense that multiple environmental chlorophenols are mitochondrial inhibitors and uncouplers...
October 4, 2016: Mitochondrion
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