Applied Bioinformatics Course: July 11-18, 2020

MDI Biological Laboratory’s Applied Bioinformatics Course, in collaboration with the Dartmouth Lung Biology Center and Maine INBRE, will be held ONLINE July 11-18, 2020 in Bar Harbor, ME. Applied Bioinformatics is “a hands-on course for advanced graduate students, post-doctoral trainees, and researchers at all levels interested in incorporating bioinformatics into their research.” Scholarships are available. Website information. Course flyer.

All About Arsenic Data Literacy Institute: June 2020

MDI Biological Laboratory and Dartmouth College, in collaboration with multiple partners in Maine and New Hampshire, are leading an NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) project called: “Data to Action: A secondary school-based citizen science project to address arsenic contamination of well water”.

High school and middle school teachers from Maine and New Hampshire, along with scientist partners from neighboring institutions, work collaboratively to engage their students as citizen scientists by integrating well water monitoring into their curriculum.

The overall goal is to provide teachers and students with the tools, skills and support to make sense of well water data so that their analyses can inform actions at the community level, resulting in positive public health outcomes.

The June 2020 online DataLit Institute will provide time for teachers and scientist partners to collaborate on developing research and data literacy skills, create a groundwater curriculum with a focus on arsenic monitoring, and generate a basis of ongoing partnership with each other and other participants. (reprinted from the MDIBL website, https://mdibl.org/course/data-lit-2020/   accessed 11 June, 2020)

More details on this program are available through the All About Arsenic Website.

Single Cell RNA-seq Analysis Reveals Adverse Effects from Pre-Natal Arsenic Exposure…

Kevin S Hsu, Britton C Goodale, Kenneth H Ely, Thomas H Hampton, Bruce A Stanton, Richard I Enelow. 2020. Single cell RNA-seq analysis reveals that prenatal arsenic exposure results in long-term, adverse effects on immune gene expression in response to Influenza A infectionToxicological Sciences. Toxicol Sci 2020 Jun 8;kfaa080. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfaa080. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32514536.

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.

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.