Tag Archives: Toxicology

New test for skin sensitization without using animals

In an advance in efforts to reduce the use of animals in testing new cosmetic and other product ingredients for skin allergies, scientists are describing a new, highly accurate non-animal test for these skin-sensitizers. Their study appears in ACS’ journal Chemical Research in Toxicology. Bruno Miguel Neves and colleagues explain that concerns about the ethics […]

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Dichlorophenol-containing pesticides linked to food allergies

Food allergies are on the rise, affecting 15 million Americans. And according to a new study published in the December issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), dichlorophenol-containing pesticides could be partially to blame. The study reported that high levels of […]

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Drug-pollution law all washed up

Europe is set to quash a precedent-setting initiative designed to tackle a disturbing side effect of common drugs — their impact on aquatic life. Nature has learned that landmark regulations intended to clean Europe’s waterways of pharmaceuticals are likely to be dead on arrival when they reach a key vote in the European Parliament next […]

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Killing rats is killing birds

Law-makers in Canada and the United States are making moves to restrict the use of rodent poisons based on blood thinners, as studies show that the toxins accumulate in birds of prey and other animals. The chemicals in question are anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs), which work like the human blood-thinning drug warfarin. Warfarin is itself used […]

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Even low-level radioactivity is damaging

Even the very lowest levels of radiation are harmful to life, scientists have concluded in the Cambridge Philosophical Society’s journal Biological Reviews. Reporting the results of a wide-ranging analysis of 46 peer-reviewed studies published over the past 40 years, researchers from the University of South Carolina and the University of Paris-Sud found that variation in […]

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Seabirds study shows plastic pollution reaching surprising levels off coast of pacific Northwest

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Plastic pollution off the northwest coast of North America is reaching the level of the notoriously polluted North Sea, according to a new study led by a researcher at the University of British Columbia. The study, published online in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, examined stomach contents of beached northern fulmars on the coasts of […]

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Copper making salmon prone to predators

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Minute amounts of copper from brake linings and mining operations can affect salmon to where they are easily eaten by predators, says a Washington State University researcher. Jenifer McIntyre found the metal affects salmon’s sense of smell so much that they won’t detect a compound that ordinarily alerts them to be still and wary. “A […]

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Scavenged bullets dooming condors

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Spreading its wings to a 3-meter span, flying at a speed of up to 96 kph, and living as long as 60 years, the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) is one of the world’s most magnificent birds. It’s also one of the rarest. Only 22 condors were alive in 1982, due to poaching, habitat destruction, DDT […]

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Alzheimer’s gene causes brain’s blood vessels to leak toxins and die

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A well-known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease triggers a cascade of signaling that ultimately results in leaky blood vessels in the brain, allowing toxic substances to pour into brain tissue in large amounts, scientists report May 16 in the journal Nature. The results come from a team of scientists investigating why a gene called […]

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New look at prolonged radiation exposure: At low dose-rate, radiation poses little risk to DNA, study suggests

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A new study from MIT scientists suggests that the guidelines governments use to determine when to evacuate people following a nuclear accident may be too conservative. The study, led by Bevin Engelward and Jacquelyn Yanch and published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that when mice were exposed to radiation doses about 400 times […]

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Disarming the botulinum neurotoxin

Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and collaborators at the Medical School of Hannover in Germany recently discovered how the botulinum neurotoxin, a potential bioterrorism agent, survives the hostile environment in the stomach on its journey through the human body. Their study, published February 24 in Science, reveals the first 3D structure of a neurotoxin […]

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Effects of environmental toxicants reach down through generations

A Washington State University researcher has demonstrated that a variety of environmental toxicants can have negative effects on not just an exposed animal but the next three generations of its offspring. he animal’s DNA sequence remains unchanged, but the compounds change the way genes turn on and off — the epigenetic effect studied at length […]

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Iconic marine mammals are ‘swimming in sick seas’ of terrestrial pathogens

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Parasites and pathogens infecting humans, pets and farm animals are increasingly being detected in marine mammals such as sea otters, porpoises, harbour seals and killer whales along the Pacific coast of the U.S. and Canada, and better surveillance is required to monitor public health implications, according to a panel of scientific experts from Canada and […]

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Most lethal known species of prion protein identified

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have identified a single prion protein that causes neuronal death similar to that seen in “mad cow” disease, but is at least 10 times more lethal than larger prion species. This toxic single molecule or “monomer” challenges the prevailing concept that neuronal damage is linked […]

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Environmental toxin Bisphenol A (BPA) can affect newborn brain, mouse study shows

Newborn mice that are exposed to bisphenol A develop changes in their spontaneous behavior and evince poorer adaptation to new environments, as well hyperactivity as young adults, according to researchers at Uppsala University. Their study also revealed that one of the brain’s most important signal systems, the cholinergic signal system, is affected by bisphenol A […]

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Polar bears ill from accumulated environmental toxins

Industrial chemicals are being transported from the industrialized world to the Arctic via air and sea currents. Here, the cocktail of environmental toxins is absorbed by the sea’s food chains, of which the polar bear is the top predator. “The accumulated industrial chemicals cause diseases in the polar bears which do not lead to their […]

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Inhibition of protein protects liver from acetaminophen toxicity in mice

New research from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) may help prevent damage to the liver caused by drugs like acetaminophen and other stressors. Acetaminophen, more commonly known as Tylenol, helps relieve pain and reduce fever. The over-the-counter drug is a major ingredient in many cold and flu remedies […]

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Wildlife threatened by Fukushima radiation

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Radiation released by the tsunami-struck Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant could have long-lasting consequences for the natural environment in the vicinity of the damaged plant. Scientists estimate that in the first 30 days after the accident on 11 March, trees, birds and forest-dwelling mammals were exposed to daily doses up to 100 times greater – […]

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A study of the birds in the Chernobyl fallout zone reveals that black is beautiful

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Nuclear accidents can have devastating consequences for the people and animals living in the vicinity of the damaged power plants, but they also give researchers a unique opportunity to study the effects of radiation on populations that would be impossible to recreate in the lab. Tim Mousseau, who directs the Chernobyl Research Initiative at the […]

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Adulteration of milk products and pet food with melamine underscores weaknesses of traditional methods

Recent incidents of adulteration involving infant formula, other milk products and pet food with the industrial chemical melamine revealed the weaknesses of current methods widely used across the domestic and global food industry for determining protein content in foods. The possible utility of alternative existing and emerging methods is the subject of a new paper […]

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How botulism-causing toxin can enter circulation

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New research in the Journal of Cell Biology helps explain how the toxic protein responsible for botulism can enter circulation from the digestive system. Botulism, a rare but serious paralytic illness, is caused by botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), an extremely toxic protein that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In food-borne botulism, the nontoxic components […]

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Missing data spark fears over land clean-up

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Attempts to clean up the new site for the Tokyo Central Wholesale Market have come under scrutiny. A row has broken out in Tokyo over the proposed relocation of the world’s largest fish market. Soil at the new site contains dangerous levels of toxic chemicals and critics claims that the local government is suppressing key […]

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The mode of action of certain toxins that accumulate in seafood

Toxins released by certain microalgae can contaminate fish and shellfish which then become toxic to humans. Researchers from CNRS and CEA have, for the first time, identified the mechanisms of action of two of these toxins. They have shown how and why they cause neurological symptoms. These findings could provide a basis for the development […]

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Canine health may parallel community health

The family dog may not only be a friendly companion but also a reflection of community health. Students at The University of Findlay are helping Michael Edelbrock, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, study canine cells using a process originally developed using human cells and perfected by Alexander Vaglenov, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences. […]

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Llama proteins could play a vital role in the war on terror

Scientists at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SFBR) have for the first time developed a highly sensitive means of detecting the seven types of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) simultaneously. The BoNT-detecting substances are antibodies — proteins made by the body to fight diseases — found in llamas. BoNT are about 100 billion times more toxic […]

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Chemo’s toxicity to brain revealed, possible treatment identified

Researchers have developed a novel animal model showing that four commonly used chemotherapy drugs disrupt the birth of new brain cells, and that the condition could be partially reversed with the growth factor IGF-1. Published early online in the journal Cancer Investigation, the University of Rochester Medical Center study is relevant to the legions of […]

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High urea levels in chronic kidney failure might be toxic after all

It is thought that the elevated levels of urea (the byproduct of protein breakdown that is excreted in the urine) in patients with end-stage kidney failure are not particularly toxic. However, a team of researchers, at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, and Università degli Studi di Foggia, Italy, has now generated evidence in […]

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Advice to vultures: Avoid Spanish livestock

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Eating carcasses of livestock treated with antibiotics is wreaking havoc on the health of Spanish vultures, a new study carried out in Spain suggests. The researchers say that the practice of feeding vultures livestock carrion–although promoted by bird lovers–may actually threaten the species and should be ended. Spain is the European stronghold of vultures; it’s […]

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Antibiotics single largest class of drugs causing liver injury

Antibiotics are the single largest class of agents that cause idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (DILI), reports a new study in Gastroenterology, an official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute. DILI is the most common cause of death from acute liver failure and accounts for approximately 13 percent of cases of acute liver failure […]

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Amphibians hit two ways by farm chemicals

The search for what’s causing widespread deformities in amphibians has drummed up several suspects, including agricultural chemicals and parasitic flatworms. Now a study that combines field surveys and aquarium experiments bolsters the idea that a widely used herbicide conspires with the parasites to harm frogs. According to the new study, the herbicide atrazine not only […]

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