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  • November 16, 2010
  • 10:39 PM

A Brush with Madness

by Kristopher Hite in Tom Paine's Ghost

I'm giving myself ten minutes to do this. To write whatever storms into my mind then hit post.

I think the archaic revival might run into some barriers. Like starvation, no communication, and other electrical difficulties if it embraces the Abbey-esque Luddite philosophy entirely.

As much as I want to get onto that other boat I think I will just slip between the hulls and end up swimming by myself among the sea-monsters, bullets whizzing past my head with bubbles trailing behind in dark ........ Read more »

Sedel F, Baumann N, Turpin JC, Lyon-Caen O, Saudubray JM, & Cohen D. (2007) Psychiatric manifestations revealing inborn errors of metabolism in adolescents and adults. Journal of inherited metabolic disease, 30(5), 631-41. PMID: 17694356  

Rose FC. (2006) Van Gogh's madness. International review of neurobiology, 253-69. PMID: 16730519  

Altintoprak AE, Ersel M, & Bayrakci A. (2009) An unusual suicide attempt: a case with psychosis during an acute porphyric attack. European journal of emergency medicine : official journal of the European Society for Emergency Medicine, 16(2), 106-8. PMID: 19262206  

Mandoki MW, & Sumner GS. (1994) Psychiatric manifestations of hereditary coproporphyria in a child. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 182(2), 117-8. PMID: 8308532  

  • November 11, 2010
  • 01:15 PM

Perfluorinated chemical exposure from food wrappers

by Ashartus in exposure/effect

Perfluorinated chemicals, which are organic molecules with several fluoride atoms attached to the carbon chain, have had a fair amount of attention from environmental scientists over the past several years, primarily due to their long persistence in the environment. They’ve been used in a large number of consumer products – probably best known for non-stick [...]... Read more »

  • October 19, 2010
  • 10:53 AM

If BPA exposure is so low, why should we be worried?

by Melinda Moyer in Body Politic

In response to my earlier post about bisphenol A in soda and beer, reader Skeptic had an insightful comment:
As someone involved in environmental health myself, I have been following the BPA controversy from north of the 49th parallel with some interest. I have often wondered whether the actual data supports regulation of BPA. The first study you cite, for example, hides this line in its discussion: “Thus, median and 95th percentile intake estimates were approximately two to three orders of ma........ Read more »

  • September 24, 2010
  • 11:57 PM

Manganese in drinking water

by Ashartus in exposure/effect

A new study has been appearing in news reports over the past couple of days: a group of researchers found that children drinking water with high levels of manganese had lower IQs than children drinking water with lower levels of manganese. Obviously no parent wants their children to have a lower IQ, but the media [...]... Read more »

Bouchard, M., Sauvé, S., Barbeau, B., Legrand, M., Brodeur, M., Bouffard, T., Limoges, E., Bellinger, D., & Mergler, D. (2010) Intellectual Impairment in School-Age Children Exposed to Manganese from Drinking Water. Environmental Health Perspectives. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1002321  

  • September 17, 2010
  • 09:43 AM

The lead isotope systematics of pregnancy and lactation

by Lab Lemming in Lounge of the Lab Lemming

Isotope geochemistry is useful for so many things that its application to fetal and maternal health can be overlooked. However, this does not diminish the value of isotopic studies to this field. Consider, for example, the groundbreaking ‘Russian Bride’* experiments of Gulson et al. Determining calcium loss and lead exposure in pregnant women is not easy. Most of the bodies calcium is stored ... Read more »

  • September 14, 2010
  • 12:38 AM

Chemical hazards from swimming pools?

by Ashartus in exposure/effect

Three new “ahead of print” articles in Environmental Health Perspectives look at potential health effects from swimming in pools with chlorinated water. One study (by Richardson et al.)  identified the disinfection by-products present in chlorinated and brominated swimming pool water, and related them to mutagenicity. A pair of related studies looked at biomarkers of genotoxicity/carcinogenicity [...]... Read more »

Kogevinas, M., Villanueva, C., Font-Ribera, L., Liviac, D., Bustamante, M., Espinoza, F., Nieuwenhuijsen, M., Espinosa, A., Fernandez, P., DeMarini, D.... (2010) Genotoxic Effects in Swimmers Exposed to Disinfection By-products in Indoor Swimming Pools. Environmental Health Perspectives. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1001959  

  • September 9, 2010
  • 07:09 PM

Could dieting pollute us?

by Melinda Moyer in Body Politic

I just stumbled across a thought-provoking study that I have to share. Korean researchers publishing in the International Journal of Obesity have found that weight loss is associated with higher blood levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs)—chemicals used to make pesticides and solvents that are notorious for accumulating in our bodies and in the environment. The researchers believe that POPs, which typically build up in fat, get released into the bloodstream when fat is burned. There, ........ Read more »

Drøyvold WB, Lund Nilsen TI, Lydersen S, Midthjell K, Nilsson PM, Nilsson JA, Holmen J, & Nord-Trøndelag Health Study. (2005) Weight change and mortality: the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study. Journal of internal medicine, 257(4), 338-45. PMID: 15788003  

  • September 7, 2010
  • 11:37 PM

Relating BPA in urine to exposure doses

by Ashartus in exposure/effect

A couple of weeks ago I discussed measurement of chemicals in blood and urine and what it actual means; as part of the post I did a quick “back of the envelope” calculation to relate the BPA (bisphenol A) concentrations in urine that had the media so worked up to estimated exposure doses and what [...]... Read more »

Krishnan, K., Gagné, M., Nong, A., Aylward, L., & Hays, S. (2010) Biomonitoring Equivalents for bisphenol A (BPA). Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 58(1), 18-24. DOI: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2010.06.005  

  • July 23, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Paucis Verbis card: Urine Toxicology Screen

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

In the Emergency Department, we often order urine toxicology screens for patients with altered mental status without an obvious cause. I find that patients are often rather forthcoming about their drug use, if they are alert enough to talk. In those cases, ordering a urine toxicology screen is unnecessary.When you do order a tox screen, however, how do you interpret the information? While the results is a binary answer (positive vs negative), there are some nuances to interpretation. For instanc........ Read more »

Standridge JB, Adams SM, & Zotos AP. (2010) Urine drug screening: a valuable office procedure. American family physician, 81(5), 635-40. PMID: 20187600  

  • July 17, 2010
  • 01:41 PM

Human health effects of oil spills and implications for the BP spill

by Ashartus in exposure/effect

A lot of the media (and scientific) attention to oil spills in the ocean focuses on the effects on marine ecosystems. The ecological effects, particularly in the short term, are undeniable – the pictures of oil-soaked birds are an obvious example. However, less attention is given to the potential effects on human health – both [...]... Read more »

Aguilera, F., Méndez, J., Pásaro, E., & Laffon, B. (2010) Review on the effects of exposure to spilled oils on human health. Journal of Applied Toxicology. DOI: 10.1002/jat.1521  

  • July 10, 2010
  • 02:22 AM

Antarctic octopus venom

by Mike Mike in Cephalove

In my recent quest to find new, cutting-edge research on cephalopods, I've come across some neat stuff (check out this post on the perception of polarized light by cuttlefish - it's one of my favorite new cephalopod research topics!)  The study I'll review here is outside of my field of relative expertise, but it's so neat and so new that I couldn't resist writing about it.  It's good to step out of one's comfort zone every once in a while, right?An international team of researchers ha........ Read more »

Undheim, E.A.B., et al. (2010) Venom on Ice: First insights into Antarctic octopus venoms. Toxicon. info:/

  • July 1, 2010
  • 03:32 PM

Are Zombie Vultures In Our Future?

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

A zombie is another name for The Walking Dead -- those who are lifeless, apathetic, or totally lacking in independent judgment. But in an ecological sense, a zombie species no longer fulfills its ecological function because it is becoming extinct... Read more »

Shultz, S., Baral, H., Charman, S., Cunningham, A., Das, D., Ghalsasi, G., Goudar, M., Green, R., Jones, A., Nighot, P.... (2004) Diclofenac poisoning is widespread in declining vulture populations across the Indian subcontinent. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 271(Suppl_6). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2004.0223  

Naidoo, V., Wolter, K., Cromarty, D., Diekmann, M., Duncan, N., Meharg, A., Taggart, M., Venter, L., & Cuthbert, R. (2009) Toxicity of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to Gyps vultures: a new threat from ketoprofen. Biology Letters, 6(3), 339-341. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0818  

Swan, G., Cuthbert, R., Quevedo, M., Green, R., Pain, D., Bartels, P., Cunningham, A., Duncan, N., Meharg, A., Lindsay Oaks, J.... (2006) Toxicity of diclofenac to Gyps vultures. Biology Letters, 2(2), 279-282. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2005.0425  

  • June 30, 2010
  • 04:39 PM

Baby and toddler foods – not as healthy as we’d hope

by Ashartus in exposure/effect

A recent paper published by Charlene Elliott of the University of Calgary in the Journal of Public Health evaluated the salt and sugar contents in baby and toddler foods; the results are a bit disturbing. While I think most people would expect baby food to be reasonably healthy, it turns out that it’s probably just as bad as processed adult foods.... Read more »

  • June 8, 2010
  • 12:10 AM

And people worry about cancer from pesticides on their food…

by Ashartus in exposure/effect

A recent study published in Environmental Health Perspectives looked at the relationship between aflatoxin, produced by certain mold growing on food, and liver cancer. The results are a bit of an eye opener – they suggest that, at the upper end of their estimate, aflatoxin may cause almost 30% of all cases of liver cancer [...]... Read more »

  • June 5, 2010
  • 09:41 AM

Oiled SeaBirds: To Kill Or Not To Kill?

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: ecology, marine biology, conservation biology, endangered species, environmental toxicology, seabirds, marine mammals,,peer-reviewed research, journal club

Bird rescue personnel Danene Birtell (L) and Heather Nevill (R) hold an oiled brown pelican, found on Storm Island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, that will be washed at the treatment facility at Fort Jackson, Louisiana, USA. BP has contracted bird rescue groups to rehabilitate wildlife affected by........ Read more »

David A. Jessup, & Jonna A. K. Mazet. (1999) Rehabilitation of Oiled Wildlife: Why Do It?. 1999 International Oil Spill Conference. info:/

Stowe, T. (1982) An oil spillage at a Guillemot colony. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 13(7), 237-239. DOI: 10.1016/0025-326X(82)90346-0  

  • May 30, 2010
  • 10:35 PM

Ethylene glycol inebriation

by sandnsurf in Life in the Fast Lane

A year-old boy is 'off his face' after drinking what looked like a nice bottle of cordial. It was actually radiator coolant. You are called for advice.... Read more »

  • May 19, 2010
  • 04:53 PM

Toxicology Conundrum 033

by sandnsurf in Life in the Fast Lane

Two chloroquine tablets have gone missing and the 2 year-old suspect is 'keeping mum' about it. Now what do you do? What if life-threatening toxicity occurs?... Read more »

Riou B, Barriot P, Rimailho A, & et al. (1988) Treatment of severe chloroquine poisoning. The New England journal of medicine, 319(1), 49-51. PMID: 3132617  

  • May 11, 2010
  • 01:03 PM

A Formula for Dosing Humans with Rat Poison

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

In 1920, a mysterious epidemic broke out in the cattle populations of the United States and Canada.  It was a severe disease of internal hemorrhaging that struck quickly and inexplicably; ranchers were soon distraught at the losses to their herds.  Two years later, Frank Schofield connected the disease to sweet clover hay, which had been [...]... Read more »

Lenzini P, Wadelius M, Kimmel S, Anderson JL, Jorgensen AL, Pirmohamed M, Caldwell MD, Limdi N, Burmester JK, Dowd MB.... (2010) Integration of genetic, clinical, and INR data to refine warfarin dosing. Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, 87(5), 572-8. PMID: 20375999  

  • April 28, 2010
  • 04:36 PM

PCBs escape burial in aquatic sediments, infiltrate terrestrial food webs, and put birds at risk

by David Raikow in River Continua

Spiders are key links in the transfer of pollutants from aquatic to terrestrial food webs.... Read more »

  • April 20, 2010
  • 02:11 PM

(How) Are Birds Affected by Volcanic Ash?

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: Eyjafjallajökull, volcanic particulate material, ash clouds, airborne-particle deposition, respiratory physiology, respiratory toxicology, medicine, veterinary medicine, birds, avian health, bioassay, anatomy,,peer-reviewed research, journal club

Figure 1: The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, photographed by an unidentified farmer in Iceland. This eruption sent massive billowing clouds of volcanic ash several miles into the atmosphere.

Image: Newscom/Zuma [larger view........ Read more »

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