NH communities are working to comply with the state’s lowered allowable limit for arsenic in public drinking water, which goes into effect July 2021. Governor Chris Sununu signed legislation in July which reduced the allowable limit for arsenic in public drinking water from 10 ppb (parts per billion) to 5 ppb. Dartmouth’s Superfund Program researchers have found that long-term exposure to low levels of arsenic increases cancer risks and may also be linked to heart disease and diabetes. More information
Dartmouth Research Translation Core (RTC) Coordinator Laurie Rardin and partners from NHDES (Department of Environmental Services) and NHDHHS (Department of Health and Human Resources) Public Health Lab presented a program on private well testing as part of their ongoing outreach efforts to connect with NH communities about the need to test and treat private well water for arsenic and other contaminants. The August 13 presentation in Fitzwilliam, NH, which relies almost entirely on private drinking water wells, had 60 people in attendance. The audience had many questions, ranging from why should we be concerned about cancer risk, to who can I contact for help and how do I access the Be Well Informed online tool. At least 60 test kits were distributed.
SRP researcher and Project 2 Co-Leader Mary Lou Guerinot, Ph.D., gave a seminar at the American Society of Plant Biologists
August 3-7 Annual Meeting as recipient of the Society’s 2018 Stephen Hales Prize. Her talk, “Micronutrient Dynamics: From the Soil to the Seed”, which was attended by more than 1000 people, focused on regulation of iron uptake from the soil and the role of vacuolar transporters in storing iron and manganese in seeds.
Dartmouth SRP Director and Project 2 Leader Celia Chen, Ph.D., was interviewed for a WBUR story on a recent study in Nature that suggests that rising seawater temperatures could cause mercury concentrations to rise in fish. According to Dr. Chen, relaxing mercury rules in the US could also effect this scenario. “If we don’t reduce mercury emissions we are going to end up having more mercury in our fish.”
“Is There Arsenic in Your Drinking Water?” will be the subject of an MDI Biological Laboratory Science Café on Monday, July 8, at 5 p.m. at the MDI. The presentation will be delivered by Jane E. Disney, senior staff scientist and director of education at MDIBL, and Bruce Stanton, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. Dr. Stanton is also the former director and a current project leader of the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program and a visiting scientist at MDIBL.
The July 6-11 MDI Biological Laboratory Applied Bioinformatics Course, co-directed by Dartmouth SRP researcher Bruce Stanton, was attended by 31 students from more than 15 institutions, including Dartmouth. The course provided intensive hands-on experience in bioinformatics, with a focus on gene expression analysis with RNA sequencing. Highlights included consultation clinics to help students incorporate bioinformatics into their own research and data, group exercises to practice skills, and a lobster bake. Dartmouth SRP Trainee Cecilia Gutierrez Perez was a TA in the course. As a TA, she “…was able to assist faculty with students and expand my Bioinformatic expertise. Having taken the course last year, helping this year was instrumental in my development as a scientist. I was able to refresh the skills previously learned and to learn by teaching others.”
Dartmouth Superfund Program researchers Celia Chen, Kate Buckman and Vivien Taylor are co-authors of a paper that “examined the individual and combined effects of temperature, sediment organic carbon, and salinity on the bioaccumulation of MeHg in an estuarine amphipod, Leptocheirus plumulosus, when exposed to sediment from two locations in the Gulf of Maine (Kittery and Bass Harbor) that contained different levels of MeHg and organic carbon.” The paper, Effects of Temperature, Salinity, and Sediment Organic Carbon on Methylmercury Bioaccumulation in an Estuarine Amphipod, is published in Science of the Total Environment.
Dartmouth Superfund Program Director and researcher Celia Chen is co-author of the paper, Factors Affecting MeHg Bioaccumulation in Stream Biota: the Role of Dissolved Organic Carbon and Diet. The paper, published in the journal Ecotoxicology, studied the “effects of water chemistry and diet on mercury bioaccumulation in stream biota.”
Dartmouth Superfund Program researcher Brian Jackson is co-author of a study that “…tests the hypothesis that higher levels of exposure to PAHs and PAH-DNA adducts in placenta of women living near Superfund sites contribute to the increased rate of PTBs” (pre term births). The paper, Association Between Elevated Placental Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and PAH-DNA Adducts from Superfund Sites in Harris County, and Increased Risk of Preterm Birth (PTB), is published in the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.
Dartmouth Superfund Program researchers Kate Buckman and Vivien Taylor are co-authors of a study that “…demonstrates that vernal pools are important hotspots where amphibians bioaccumulate MeHg, which may then be transferred to terrestrial ecosystems.” The paper, Bioaccumulation of Methylmercury in Wood Frogs and Spotted Salamanders in Vermont Vernal Pools, is published in Ecotoxicology.