Category Archives: News

Dr. Celia Chen on New England News Collaborative

“As Trump Overhauls Mercury Regulations, Toxic Emissions Could Rise”: Check out Dr. Celia Chen interview on the New England News Collaborative show, NEXT, at 19:40 in the broadcast.  On April 16, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overturned the Agency’s prior determination and deemed that it is not “appropriate and necessary” to regulate mercury and other hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) from oil- and coal-fired power plants under section 112 of the Clean Air Act. According to legal scholars, this decision undermines the foundation of the MATS rule and invites challenges to the emissions standards themselves. More details are available in Mercury Matters 2020: A Science Brief for Journalists.

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.

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.

 

Dr. Mary Lou Guerinot is Senior Researcher for Breakthrough Study on Iron Uptake in Plants

Mary Lou Guerinot, Ph.D., Dartmouth Superfund Research Program (SRP) researcher and professor of Biological Sciences, is the senior researcher on a project that has discovered a gene that controls the iron uptake in plants. This discovery potentially could be key to the iron potency of rice and other crops that are a major part of the diet of more than half the world’s population. According to Dr. Guerinot, “We have discovered a key regulator in one of the world’s most important nutrient pathways. If we can now figure out how to optimize the pathway, we could feed billions of people that suffer from iron deficiency – a huge problem especially for women and children worldwide.” NH Union Leader Article. Dartmouth Press Release.