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All posts; Tags Include "Toxicology"

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  • June 8, 2011
  • 05:47 AM

More bad science in the service of the discredited idea that vaccines cause autism

by Orac in Respectful Insolence

More than a week has passed, and I thought that this cup had passed from me, and I was glad. After all, if I analyzed every crap study done by anti-vaccine zealots to try to demonstrate that vaccines cause autism, I would have time for little else in terms of other kinds of that Insolence you all know and love. This particular study was released in late May and, at the time, I wasn't really in the mood to take it on; so I ignored it. But then wouldn't you know that the Autism Action Network woul........ Read more »

  • June 7, 2011
  • 12:58 AM

The Downside of Nano: Pregnancy Complications

by Paige Brown in From The Lab Bench

A recent article in Nature Nanotechnology investigates the potential risks of nanomaterials, specifically various sized silica and titanium dioxide nanoparticles, for causing pregnancy complications in mice. With up to 15% of human pregnancies in the United States being affected by poor fetal growth due to defects in or damages to placental tissue, researchers argue that nanomaterials found in many drug formulations as well as several food and women's cosmetic products deserve a careful inv........ Read more »

Yamashita K, Yoshioka Y, Higashisaka K, Mimura K, Morishita Y, Nozaki M, Yoshida T, Ogura T, Nabeshi H, Nagano K.... (2011) Silica and titanium dioxide nanoparticles cause pregnancy complications in mice. Nature nanotechnology, 6(5), 321-8. PMID: 21460826  

  • June 5, 2011
  • 10:12 AM

"The Demon, Gluten"

by ABK in Environment and Health

The fear of gluten, for most people, may be the "fear of the moment," with 25% of the population concerned about gluten intake (Associated Press, 2010) and less than 1% actually sensitive to it (Rubio-Tapia et al. 2009), but the evidence for increased auto-immune diseases as a whole, and this includes diabetes, lupus, etc., is strong. It does appear that the prevalence of celiac disease, along with many other autoimmune diseases is increasing (again Rubio-Tapia et al.) The Rubio-Tapia study s........ Read more »

Rubio-Tapia A, Kyle RA, Kaplan EL, Johnson DR, Page W, Erdtmann F, Brantner TL, Kim WR, Phelps TK, Lahr BD, Zinsmeister AR, Melton LJ 3rd, Murray JA. (2009) Increased prevalence and mortality in undiagnosed celiac disease. Gastroenterology. Gastroenterology, 137(1), 88-93. DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2009.03.059  

  • June 2, 2011
  • 11:36 PM

The "Demon" Gluten

by ABK in Environment and Health

I can only imagine what people with the immune disorder known as celiac disease experience, but I can understand their fear and desire to demonize gluten, the plant protein that triggers their severe intestinal distress. The fear of gluten, for most people, may be the "fear of the moment," with 25% of the population concerned about gluten intake (Associated Press, 2010) and less than 1% actually sensitive to it (Rubio-Tapia et al. 2009), but the evidence for increased auto-immune diseases as a........ Read more »

Rubio-Tapia A, Kyle RA, Kaplan EL, Johnson DR, Page W, Erdtmann F, Brantner TL, Kim WR, Phelps TK, Lahr BD, Zinsmeister AR, Melton LJ 3rd, Murray JA. (2009) Increased prevalence and mortality in undiagnosed celiac disease. Gastroenterology. Gastroenterology, 137(1), 88-93. DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2009.03.059  

  • May 29, 2011
  • 11:53 PM

Health effects from chemical exposures – not just a modern phenomenon

by Ashartus in exposure/effect

When we think about exposures to chemicals causing adverse effects on human health, there is a tendency to view this as a product of modern industrial societies. To some extent this is true – there are certainly potentially hazardous chemicals we are exposed to as a result of our lifestyles, such as volatile chemicals in [...]... Read more »

  • May 29, 2011
  • 03:05 PM

Beneficial Biological Effects of Polyhydroxy Fullerenes

by Michael Long in Phased

A nanomaterial commonly presumed to be universally toxic appears to be beneficial to algae, plants, fungi, and invertebrates.... Read more »

  • May 23, 2011
  • 03:53 AM

Blue Lights Shown to Give a Brain Boost! But is a Better than Coffee?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

It’s 6 am and the alarm sounds. Mornings aren’t a friendly place until you’ve had a coffee. Loathed by some but loved by many more, caffienated drinks are the world’s most popular drug. Effective as a stimulant, a mood-booster and an learning-enhancer, caffeine is an indispensable part of modern-day living for 90% of Westerners. Coffee … Continue reading »... Read more »

Vandewalle, G., Maquet, P., & Dijk, D. (2009) Light as a modulator of cognitive brain function. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13(10), 429-438. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2009.07.004  

Lehrl, S., Gerstmeyer, K., Jacob, J., Frieling, H., Henkel, A., Meyrer, R., Wiltfang, J., Kornhuber, J., & Bleich, S. (2007) Blue light improves cognitive performance. Journal of Neural Transmission, 114(4), 457-460. DOI: 10.1007/s00702-006-0621-4  

Smith, A. (2002) Effects of caffeine on human behavior. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 40(9), 1243-1255. DOI: 10.1016/S0278-6915(02)00096-0  

  • May 21, 2011
  • 11:13 PM

Life, Death, and Silver Bullets

by Paige Brown in From The Lab Bench

A Science Fiction story about the Age of the Superbug

There was something about her... a pale, reddish complexion, so rare these days... all the other desks in the dull classroom where occupied by students who faded together in their blue and gray hues... who snuck furtive glances at the ruddy newcomer, in her bright blue overalls and frizzy, untamed hair.
... Read more »

Patterson, J. (2010) Rising plague. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 120(3), 649-649. DOI: 10.1172/JCI42104  

  • May 1, 2011
  • 04:40 PM

Selenium, Brazil Nuts and Testosterone

by ABK in Environment and Health

Selenium is protective against prostate cancer, and good for testicular development (fetal period . . . sorry guys) and possibly protective against other oxidative-stress-induced ailments, testicular or not. On the other hand, selenium, at high concentrations can result in DNA damage, and thus increase risk of cancer. The problem with supplementing, either through tablets, or through consumption of a natural product high in selenium, is that we do not know where the lines of good and evil cross......... Read more »

  • May 1, 2011
  • 03:49 AM

A Call to Arms: Lab Safety

by Paige Brown in From The Lab Bench

I don my lab coat, ready for an afternoon of experiments. After some rummaging, I finally find a pair of safety glasses, a rare commodity in a lab of 30 students where monies appear to be scant when it comes to procuring new personal protective equipment. I'll be hiding this pair in my office.

"I need 5 milliliters a 1molar solution."

A senior postdoc hands me a bottle of some white powdery substance, and waves me toward the dry chemical balance on the lab bench. I glance ........ Read more »

Editorial. (2011) Accidents in waiting. Nature, 472(7343), 259. PMID: 21512528  

Van Noorden R. (2011) A death in the lab. Nature, 472(7343), 270-1. PMID: 21512544  

  • April 27, 2011
  • 09:40 PM

How toxic is BPA?

by ashartus in exposure/effect
The toxicity of bisphenol A (BPA) has been a fairly controversial subject for a while. Industry groups have been fairly adamant about its safety, while many environmental groups suggest it is causing adverse health effects in humans. Messages from regulatory agencies have been fairly mixed, or even confusing.... Read more »

Hengstler, J., Foth, H., Gebel, T., Kramer, P., Lilienblum, W., Schweinfurth, H., Völkel, W., Wollin, K., & Gundert-Remy, U. (2011) Critical evaluation of key evidence on the human health hazards of exposure to bisphenol A. Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 41(4), 263-291. DOI: 10.3109/10408444.2011.558487  

  • April 22, 2011
  • 01:00 AM

Inevitability of the Improbable

by Mika McKinnon in GeoMika

A philosophy of science discussion of the reality of low-frequency events (particularly catastrophes) occurring on geologic timescales.... Read more »

  • April 15, 2011
  • 08:19 PM

Does aspartame cause cancer?

by Ashartus in exposure/effect

Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners have long been a source of controversy and debate regarding whether or not it has adverse health effects. Among the effects claimed, perhaps the most serious is potential carcinogenicity. However, industry and regulators generally maintain there is no evidence of carcinogenicity. Is the risk real? To answer this question, I’ll [...]... Read more »

Magnuson, B., Burdock, G., Doull, J., Kroes, R., Marsh, G., Pariza, M., Spencer, P., Waddell, W., Walker, R., & Williams, G. (2007) Aspartame: A Safety Evaluation Based on Current Use Levels, Regulations, and Toxicological and Epidemiological Studies. Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 37(8), 629-727. DOI: 10.1080/10408440701516184  

  • April 3, 2011
  • 07:26 PM

When Smokers Move

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

Is your new house a thirdhand smoke reservoir?

In the first published examination of thirdhand smoke pollution and exposure, researchers at San Diego State University discovered that non-smokers who move into homes purchased from smokers encounter significantly elevated nicotine levels in the air and dust of their new homes two months or more after moving in.

100 smoking households and 50 non-smoking households participated in the study, which was published in Tobacco Control. The researcher........ Read more »

Matt, G., Quintana, P., Zakarian, J., Fortmann, A., Chatfield, D., Hoh, E., Uribe, A., & Hovell, M. (2010) When smokers move out and non-smokers move in: residential thirdhand smoke pollution and exposure. Tobacco Control, 20(1). DOI: 10.1136/tc.2010.037382  

  • March 3, 2011
  • 12:43 AM

Causes of high mercury levels

by Ashartus in exposure/effect

This is the second in a planned series of posts relating to mercury exposure and toxicity (see also Part 1: measuring mercury exposure). In this part I’m going to look at some of the causes of high mercury levels measured in the population, and specifically at a recent population biomonitoring study conducted in New York [...]... Read more »

  • February 21, 2011
  • 02:32 PM

Did Chopin Have Temporal Lobe Epilepsy?

by Pranab Chatterjee in Scepticemia

Frederick Chopin is not only one of the greatest composers this side of history, but also, a paleopathologist’s delight. He died at the age of 39, which, even by the standards of those days, was quite young. There were several … Continue reading →... Read more »

Vazquez Caruncho, M., & Branas Fernandez, F. (2011) The hallucinations of Frederic Chopin. Medical Humanities. DOI: 10.1136/jmh.2010.005405  

  • February 18, 2011
  • 11:11 PM

Third hand smoking - Can we ban this poison already?

by James Byrne in Disease Prone

I’m not going to write a post on why smoking is bad, it’s too obvious and if you don’t understand why then your probably never going to find this post anyway. I’m not even going to talk about second hand smoking, ie. blowing your death cloud at me on the street. Again it’s obvious why it’s bad and may even be worse than smoking the cigarette itself as second hand smokers don’t get the benefit of a filter. No, this post is about third hand smoking, a fun new way smokers can harm th........ Read more »

Avol EL, Gauderman WJ, Tan SM, London SJ, & Peters JM. (2001) Respiratory effects of relocating to areas of differing air pollution levels. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 164(11), 2067-72. PMID: 11739136  

Sleiman M, Gundel LA, Pankow JF, Jacob P 3rd, Singer BC, & Destaillats H. (2010) Formation of carcinogens indoors by surface-mediated reactions of nicotine with nitrous acid, leading to potential thirdhand smoke hazards. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(15), 6576-81. PMID: 20142504  

  • February 9, 2011
  • 11:39 AM

Schistosomiasis may be protective against Auto-Immune Disease

by ABK in Environment and Health

Following up here on the associations between parasite infection and reduced incidence of autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, arthritis and possibly asthma, this time with a specific focus on Schistosome infection. Schistosomias is a common infection in many areas of the developing world, and is thought to be the second most important human parasite after malaria. Infection may be sub-clinical with little or no indication of infection. Osada et al. (2009) reported on lowe........ Read more »

  • February 9, 2011
  • 03:01 AM

Chemical data curation: yes, it is that bad.

by egonw in Chem-bla-ics

The readers of Antony's blog know enough about the problem. And many in the QSAR community know it too (and many other do not). Chemical structure data is noisy. I haven't recently created a new local data set for analysis, so I have not taken time to blog about it much, but the ambiguity in chemical databases is enormous. Just yesterday, Antony and I had a good discussion about tautomers and in particular how things are linked together.

If we are in the field of property prediction, knowing wh........ Read more »

Porter, W. (2010) Warfarin: history, tautomerism and activity. Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design, 24(6-7), 553-573. DOI: 10.1007/s10822-010-9335-7  

  • January 25, 2011
  • 12:12 AM

The DDT Dilemna

by Ashartus in exposure/effect

The insecticide DDT (dichlorodiphenytrichloroethane) has been in the public mind ever since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published in 1962. Growing awareness of its environmental effects, persistence, biomagnification in food chains, and presence in humans (including in breast milk) led to severe restrictions being placed on its use, particularly in the developed world. However, its [...]... Read more »

Bouwman, H., van den Berg, H., & Kylin, H. (2011) DDT and Malaria Prevention: Addressing the Paradox. Environmental Health Perspectives. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1002127  

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