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Scientists Map the ‘Editing Marks’ on Fly, Worm, Human Genomes

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In the August 28 issue of the journal Nature a multi-institution research network called modENCODE (the Model Organism ENCylopedia Of DNA Elements) published three major papers that map and compare the genomes and epigenomes of humans and two model organisms, the fly, D. melanogaster, and the worm, C. elegans, in unprecedented detail. The fly and worm could serve as model organisms for screening drugs and micronutrients that might alter the epigenome, which is implicated in many diseases.

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Atmospheric Mercury Review Raises Concerns of Environmental Impact

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The UALR Professor and Chair of Chemistry examines the cycling of mercury through soil and water as it impacts atmospheric loadings in a recently published peer-reviewed journal article.

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Black Carbon – a Major Climate Pollutant –Also Linked to Cardiovascular Health

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Black carbon pollutants from wood smoke are known to trap heat near the earth’s surface and warm the climate. A new study led by McGill Professor Jill Baumgartner suggests that black carbon may also increase women’s risk of cardiovascular disease.

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Antibacterial Soap Exposes Health Workers to High Triclosan Levels

Handwashing with antibacterial soap exposes hospital workers to significant and potentially unsafe levels of triclosan, a widely-used chemical currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to a study led by researchers from UC San Francisco.

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Reduced Testosterone Tied to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemical Exposure

Men, women and children exposed to high levels of phthalates - endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in plastics and some personal care products – tended to have reduced levels of testosterone in their blood compared to those with lower chemical exposure, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

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Common Household Chemicals Responsible for Reproductive Declines in Mice

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Virginia Tech researchers who were using a disinfectant when handling mice have discovered that two active ingredients in it cause declines in mouse reproduction.

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Rooting Out Skin Creams That Contain Toxic Mercury 


As most countries try to rid themselves of mercury pollution, some people are massaging creams containing the metal directly onto their skin to lighten it, putting themselves and others at risk for serious health problems. To find those most at risk, scientists are reporting today that they can now identify these creams and intervene much faster than before. They’re speaking at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

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A New Look at What’s in ‘Fracking’ Fluids Raises Red Flags 


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As the oil and gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing proliferates, a new study on the contents of the fluids used raises concerns over several ingredients. The scientists presenting the work today at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society say out of nearly 200 commonly used compounds in “fracking,” there’s very little known about the potential health risks of about one-third, and eight are toxic to mammals.

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Stinky Gases Emanating From Landfills Could Transform Into Clean Energy

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A new technique transforming stinky, air-polluting landfill gas could produce the sweet smell of success as it leads to development of a fuel cell generating clean electricity for homes, offices and hospitals, researchers say. The advance would convert methane gas into hydrogen, an efficient, clean form of energy. Their report was part of the 248th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

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Expert Panel Calls for Public Health Research on Natural Gas Drilling

A group of environmental health researchers, led by Penn's Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET) published recommendations for public health research associated with unconventional natural gas drilling operations.

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