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  • News

    Dust components may promote obesity

    Dust bunnies that breed under furniture may be bad news for waistlines, a new study suggests. But it’s far too early to add dusting to a weight loss plan, researchers caution.

    Components of indoor dust may signal human fat cells to grow and may alter metabolism, potentially contributing to weight problems, researchers report July 14 in Environmental Science & Technology.


    08/03/2015 - 17:21 Toxicology, Pollution, Health
  • News

    Mystery toxins in tainted New Zealand honey nabbed

    In a sticky sting operation, researchers may have nabbed the last toxic members of a honey-tainting ring in New Zealand.

    Cloaked in sugars, two forms of tutin — a potent neurotoxin that can cause delirium and seizures — have been found lurking in poisoned honey, researchers report online May 21 in the Journal of Natural Products. The discovery of the incognito toxins helps to explain...

    06/01/2015 - 07:45 Toxicology, Chemistry
  • News

    Rising dolphin deaths linked to Deepwater Horizon spill

    The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill helped spark a massive, ongoing die-off of dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico, a new study suggests.

    Dead common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) examined in the region had lung lesions and adrenal gland damage, injuries previously linked to oil exposure, researchers report May 20 in PLOS ONE. Following the blow out at BP’s Macondo well five...

    05/21/2015 - 18:14 Pollution, Toxicology, Oceans
  • Science Ticker

    E-cigarette flavorings may harm lungs

    Certain flavorings in e-cigarettes can harm lung cells, researchers report May 17 at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Denver.

    Researchers exposed human lung cells to various doses of 13 flavorings for either 30 minutes or 24 hours. Five of the flavorings tested caused harmful effects, such as reducing cell replication. At higher doses, these same flavorings — hot...

    05/18/2015 - 15:00 Toxicology, Health
  • News

    Bees may like neonicotinoids, but some may be harmed

    Bees don’t have the mouthpart sensitivity to taste — and thus can’t avoid — nectar tainted with neonicotinoid pesticides, new lab tests indicate. And the charm of nicotine may even seduce bees into favoring pesticide-spiked nectar.

    Outdoor tests also show that neonicotinoid exposure for some wild bees can be worrisome, a second paper reports. Together, the studies renew questions about...

    04/22/2015 - 13:00 Animals, Conservation, Toxicology
  • News

    Natural acids in soil could protect rice from toxic nanoparticles

    A dose of dirt could defend rice plants from the damaging effects of toxic nanoparticles.

    Acids naturally found in the organic matter of soil, collectively called humic acid, can protect rice seedlings from the cell damage and stunted root growth caused by copper oxide nanoparticles, researchers report April 13 in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. These toxic nanoparticles are used...

    04/17/2015 - 14:30 Pollution, Toxicology
  • Science Ticker

    Low levels of lead linked to lower test scores in children

    Small doses of lead may have big impacts on reading and math scores, scientists report April 7 in Environmental Health.

    Researchers looked at third grade test scores and levels of lead in blood samples from 58,650 students in Chicago public schools. As little as 2 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood was associated with lower...

    04/17/2015 - 12:00 Toxicology
  • News in Brief

    Controversial insecticide use rises as farmers douse seeds

    Since the early 2000s, U.S. farmers have dramatically increased their use of controversial insecticides suspected of playing a role in the decline of pollinating insects, such as honeybees. Called neonicotinoids, these insecticides are a class of neuroactive chemicals similar to nicotine.  

    The boom in neonicotinoid use came about as many agricultural companies and farmers started...

    04/07/2015 - 12:26 Pollution, Agriculture, Toxicology
  • News

    Fracking chemicals can alter mouse development

    DENVER — Wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, may tote several hormone-disrupting chemicals that can alter the development of mice, researchers reported March 23 at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

    Twenty-three chemicals used in fracking fluids can hamper at least one of five hormone signals tested in human cells, the researchers found. When the team...

    03/30/2015 - 13:45 Toxicology, Development
  • News

    Air pollution molecules make key immune protein go haywire

    DENVER — With the flip of a cellular switch, reactive molecules in air pollution can turn immune responses in the lungs topsy-turvy. When those reactive molecules fill baby mouse lungs, they can open the door to severe infections as well as set the stage for asthma later in life, researchers reported March 23 at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

    The reactive...

    03/25/2015 - 10:33 Chemistry, Toxicology, Health