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  • News

    A ghost gene leaves ocean mammals vulnerable to some pesticides

    A gene that helps mammals break down certain toxic chemicals appears to be faulty in marine mammals — potentially leaving manatees, dolphins and other warm-blooded water dwellers more sensitive to dangerous pesticides.

    The gene, PON1, carries instructions for making a protein that interacts with fatty acids ingested with food. But that protein has taken on another role in recent decades...

    08/09/2018 - 14:00 Animals, Molecular Evolution, Toxicology
  • News in Brief

    Pediatricians warn against chemical additives in food for kids

    The American Academy of Pediatrics is cautioning parents and pediatricians to avoid exposing children to eight chemicals found in food and in plastic packaging. The chemicals may be especially harmful to kids due to their small size, says the report published July 23 in Pediatrics. Pregnant women should also avoid the chemicals. And lower-income families who eat a lot of prepackaged foods...

    07/23/2018 - 18:15 Health, Nutrition, Toxicology
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘The Poisoned City’ chronicles Flint’s water crisis

    The Poisoned CityAnna ClarkMetropolitan Books, $30

    America is built on lead. Networks of aging pipes made from the bluish-gray metal bring water into millions of U.S. homes. But when lead, a poison to the nervous system, gets into drinking water — as happened in Flint, Mich. — the heavy metal can cause irreparable harm (SN: 3/19/16, p. 8). In The Poisoned City, journalist Anna Clark...

    07/17/2018 - 07:00 Health, Toxicology, Science & Society
  • News

    How bees defend against some controversial insecticides

    Honeybees and bumblebees have a way to resist toxic compounds in some widely used insecticides.

    These bees make enzymes that help the insects break down a type of neonicotinoid called thiacloprid, scientists report March 22 in Current Biology. Neonicotinoids have been linked to negative effects on bee health, such as difficulty reproducing in honeybees (SN: 7/26/16, p 16). But bees...

    03/22/2018 - 14:41 Toxicology, Chemistry, Conservation
  • News

    The way poison frogs keep from poisoning themselves is complicated

    View the video

    For some poison dart frogs, gaining resistance to one of their own toxins came with a price.

    The genetic change that gives one group of frogs immunity to a particularly lethal toxin also disrupts a key chemical messenger in the brain. But the frogs have managed to sidestep the potentially damaging side effect through other genetic tweaks, researchers report in the...

    09/22/2017 - 11:56 Toxicology, Evolution, Animals
  • News

    New material could filter water contaminants that others miss

    A new material can pull a toxic, hard-to-degrade industrial chemical from drinking water more effectively than current methods.

    Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, hangs around in the environment for years and might cause health problems for people and animals. A new polymer material traps PFOA molecules, making them easy to filter out of water, researchers report in the June 14 Journal of...

    06/20/2017 - 16:23 Toxicology, Pollution
  • News

    Epigenetic marks may help assess toxic exposure risk — someday

    Nearly everything people do, eat or come into contact with can change them in little ways — sometimes with big consequences. Exposure to some chemicals can damage DNA, leading to cancer and other problems. Other molecular changes—chemical tags added to DNA or to proteins called histones — may affect health without injuring DNA.

    There are more than 100 varieties of these chemical tags,...

    12/09/2016 - 06:00 Epigenetics, Toxicology
  • Editor's Note

    Finding wonders in fat

    Who knew body fat held such hidden treasures? Scientists have found some serious loot in that bemoaned organ, including a vigorous population of flexible stem cells that can be coaxed into acting as new cartilage or tendons for damaged joints. Fat’s gems may also find uses in building new bone and repairing hearts, Susan Gaidos reports.

    One day such research might enable people to...

    03/09/2016 - 14:45 Quantum Physics, Physics, Toxicology, Health
  • News

    FDA to test foods for controversial herbicide

    The U.S. government will test various foods for exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in several herbicides.

    Tests on foods including soybeans, corn, milk and eggs are set to begin this year, says Food and Drug Administration spokesperson Lauren Sucher. In 2014, the Government Accountability Office called on the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to strengthen their...

    02/19/2016 - 15:56 Agriculture, Toxicology
  • News

    Vaping linked to host of new health risks

    WASHINGTON — Many people have turned to electronic cigarettes in hopes of avoiding the heart and cancer risks associated with smoking conventional tobacco products. But vaping appears far from benign, a trio of toxicologists reported February 11 and 12 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting.

    If used as a means to totally wean people off of tobacco...

    02/12/2016 - 17:06 Toxicology, Genetics, Health