All posts by Marcy

Nutrient-Toxic Element Mixtures and the Early Postnatal Gut Microbiome…

Dartmouth Superfund Program (SRP) researchers Brian Jackson and Margaret Karagas and Trainee Hannah Laue (lead author) are co-authors of the paper Nutrient-Toxic Element Mixtures and the Early Postnatal Gut Microbiome and in a United States Longitudinal Birth Cohort. The study concluded that “Early postnatal toxic and nutrient elemental exposures are associated with differences in the infant microbiome. Further research is needed to clarify the whether these alterations are a biomarker of exposure or if they have implications for child and lifelong health.” The paper was  published in the journal Environment International.

Mercury Levels in Freshwater Fish: Estimating Concentration with Fish Length…

Dartmouth Superfund Research Program (SRP) researchers Celia Chen and Kate Buckman are co-authors of the paper Mercury Levels in Freshwater Fish: Estimating Concentration with Fish Length to Determine Exposures Through Fish Consumption. According to the paper, “…many studies only measure adults to characterize the health of locally fished populations, omitting information about how local fish bioaccumulate mercury relative to their growth. In this study, we sought to establish length: total mercury (THg) concentration relationships in juvenile and adult fish of four genera (sunfish, yellow perch, white perch, and killifish) across six freshwater pond systems of Nantucket Island to determine safe consumption sizes across species and environmental conditions.” the paper was published in the journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.

Mainers May Be Exposed to Excessive Levels of Arsenic

Tens of thousands of people in Maine may be exposed to very high levels of As (Arsenic) in their drinking water. In response, ME legislators are considering legislation “…that would help low-income Mainers get wells tested for the substance and require the state to consider lowering the currently acceptable contaminant level for arsenic in water provided by municipal systems.” More information.

NH Cancer Registry Data Informs NH Regulatory Change

Research from the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program, supported by data from the New Hampshire (NH) State Cancer Registry, informed the passage of 2019 legislation which decreased the arsenic maximum contaminant level for public drinking water from 10 to 5 parts per billion in NH. House Bill 261, signed by Governor Sununu, will be effective July 2021. Read More.

Mary Lou Guerinot Profiled in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Dr. Mary Lou Guerinot, Dartmouth SRP researcher and Dartmouth Professor of Biological Sciences, is profiled in the January 13, 2020 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The profile of her career accompanies the publication of Dr. Guerinot’s recent paper, “The iron deficiency response in Arabidopsis thaliana requires the phosphorylated transcription factor URI.” According to the study, researchers have discovered a gene that controls the regulation of iron uptake in plants. This discovery could be important to increasing the iron potency of crops such as rice, wheat and cassava that form the staple diets of more than half the world’s population.

Dartmouth SRP Dragonfly Poster Session a Success

176 people attended the annual Poster Session for the Dartmouth Superfund Research Program’s Dragonfly Mercury Monitoring Project which was held on January 10, 2020 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. Students from Woodstock High School in VT and Stevens High School, Rivendell Academy and Pelham High School in NH presented excellent posters. The keynote speaker, Dr. Jennifer Brentrup, Postdoctoral Fellow at University of VT and Dartmouth College, spoke about her work sampling lakes to understand climate change. This community engagement effort puts mercury research into the hands of local high school students to educate them about mercury in our world and the importance of clear, data-based scientific research and communication to mitigate mercury risks. The Dragonfly Project is supported by the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program and the Wellborn Ecology Fund. More event photosMore information about the Dragonfly Project.

Dragonfly Larvae Biosentinels of Mercury Bioaccumulation in Northeastern & Adirondack Lakes…

Dartmouth Superfund Research Program (SRP) researcher and director Celia Chen is co-author of the paper Dragonfly Larvae as Biosentinels of Hg Bioaccumulation in Northeastern and Adirondack Lakes: Relationships to Abiotic Factors. The study sampled lake water and dragonfly larvae in 74 northeastern US lakes that are part of the US EPA Long-Term Monitoring Network to examine whether Dragonfly larvae can serve as biosentinels for Mercury (Hg) in biota. The paper was published in the journal Ecotoxicology.

Dartmouth CEC Leader Publishes Article on Scientific Writing Process

Dartmouth SRP Community Engagement Core (CEC) Leader Anna Adachi-Mejia, Ph.D., published an article on the scientific writing process in Medium. The article, “Baking a process into writing your first draft of a scientific piece,” compares the writing process to the experience of baking and offers “…a framework to bake a process into writing the first draft of the scientific piece that you have been avoiding.”

Dartmouth SRP Director Participates in COP3 Meeting in Geneva

Dartmouth Superfund Research Program Director Celia Chen represented Dartmouth College as an observing Civil Society Organization at the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP3) in  Geneva November 25-29, 2019. The Conference was attended by parties (countries) that have ratified, accepted, approved or accessed the Minamata treaty or are in the process of ratifying it, as well as observers. Currently 115 countries have ratified or accepted the treaty. On June 11, 2013 the US was the first country to sign and accept the treaty. Discussion in “contact groups” (smaller meetings) included a focus on how the effectiveness of the treaty will be evaluated. No agreement was reached by the parties on Effectiveness Evaluation. Dr. Chen also represented Dartmouth at the 10th meeting of the Global Mercury Partnership, which was held prior to COP3, as a member of the Policy Advisory Group (PAG) on Fate and Transport of Mercury. COP4 will be in 2021.


Mercury and Selenium Concentrations, and Selenium:mercury Molar Ratios in Small Cetaceans Taken Off St. Vincent, West Indies

Dartmouth Superfund Program (SRP) researcher Brian Jackson is co-author of the paper Mercury and Selenium Concentrations, and Selenium:mercury Molar Ratios in Small Cetaceans Taken Off St. Vincent, West Indies. According to the paper, the “high THg (total mercury) concentrations in cetacean tissues in this study, along with the high number of small cetaceans that are taken for human consumption each year, and the frequency at which cetacean products are consumed, suggests that consumption of small cetaceans in St. Vincent is a human health issue that warrants further investigation. Future policy changes or advisories may be needed to inform the public, especially regarding the consumption of killer whales and short-finned pilot whales.” The paper is published in the journal Environmental Research.