Dartmouth Superfund Research Program researchers Celia Chen, Kate Buckman and Vivien Taylor gave several oral and poster presentations related to our mercury research at the September 8-13 ICMGP (International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant) in Krakow, Poland. Abstract titles for the oral presentations were: “Relationships Between Mercury in Sediment and the Water Column to Fish Bioaccumulation in Human Impacted Estuaries in Long Island, NY” (presenter: Celia Chen), “Meta-Analysis of Mercury Concentration in Forage Fish Across Northeast USA Estuaries” (presenter: Kate Buckman). Drs. Chen, Buckman and Taylor also were co-authors of the abstract “Ecosystem Controls on the Incidence of Methylmercury in Temperate Estuarine Water Columns” (presenter: Emily Seelen). Complete listing of conference oral presentations. Our SRP was a Silver Sponsor of the Conference and SRP Director Dr. Chen was on the meeting’s Scientific Steering Committee. The Conference was attended by more than 700 people from 50 countries.
Dartmouth Superfund Research Program researchers Margaret Karagas and Brian Jackson are co-authors of the paper Validity of Retrospective Occupational Exposure Estimates of Lead and Manganese in a Case-Control Study. The study used toenail samples as bioindicators of exposure and “assessed whether work tasks and expert assessments of occupational metal exposure obtained from personal interviews were associated with lead and manganese concentrations”. The paper is published in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine.
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.”
Anna Adachi-Mejia, our CEC Leader, will speak about the uses of photovoice to connect to communities and communicate science by the Superfund engagement and translation community for the SRP July 11 webinar.
“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.