Scientists at the University of Gothenburg can show that CBR has properties that may make it suitable to be used as a biomarker, an early warning signal of environmental toxins. The aim of the project is to achieve better environmental monitoring.
Eelpout is a species used in the Swedish monitoring of environmental toxins. Since it is a stationary fish, it can be used to couple local releases of environmental toxins to their effects in exposed animals. Photo: University of Gothenburg/Joachim Sturve
"While chemists measure the levels of environmental toxins, we biologists monitor their effects. We can use biomarkers to discover these effects before the levels of toxins have become fatal. The increased CBR level in fish is probably caused by chemicals in the water. This means that CBR may be a useful biomarker," says Eva Albertsson, research student in the Department of Zoology at the University of Gothenburg.
Our sewage treatment plants have been designed to remove nutrients from wastewater, but they are not very good at removing many other substances. Fish downstream of the treatment plants thus live in an environment that is filled with both toxic and non-toxic substances. Eva Albertsson's thesis presents work carried out at the Gråbo treatment plant. It turned out that fish downstream of the plant had higher levels of an enzyme, CBR, in the liver than fish living upstream of the plant. Similar effects were seen also at the Borås treatment plant.
It is known that CBR in humans can protect against oxidative stress, which is a harmful reaction that the body activates in response to certain substances. Thus, the elevated levels of CBR we have seen in fish may not be harmful: they may act as protection. The elevated levels, however, may be an indication that there are substances in the cleaned wastewater that cause oxidative stress, which may in the long term develop to give harmful effects.
The substances that cause oxidative stress are present at different levels in some water, such as, for example, the water that is downstream of a sewage treatment plant. Metals, pesticides and substances that form during incomplete combustion are examples of substances that act in such a manner. Eva Albertsson has studied rainbow trout and eelpout, and shown that fish that are exposed to substances known to cause oxidative stress had higher levels of CBR. This means that the enzyme is suitable for use as a biomarker, an early warning signal, that can be used by scientists and authorities whose task is to monitor the effects of environmental toxins.
The thesis From Proteomic Analysis to Biomarker Application - Studies of Carbonyl Reductase in Fish has been successfully defended at a disputation held at the University of Gothenburg.
Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH
Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences