Research over the past several years has demonstrated the adverse effects of industrial pollutants in water and sediment on the health of fish in the lower Duwamish River. The Duwamish flows through an industrialized section of south Seattle, Wash., and in 2001 a section of the lower river was added to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund list because of contaminants including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), mercury and other metals, and phthalates. In previous research on Duwamish fish, PNRI used an infrared spectroscopy method to document DNA damage in the gills of English sole.
In a new joint paper, the researchers report on several biomarkers, including pollution-induced P450 enzyme changes, and on infrared spectral analysis of DNA and measurements of specific modifications to DNA from fish gills and livers using liquid and gas chromatography combined with mass spectrometry (LC/MS,GC/MS). Precision chemical analysis techniques at NIST allowed the researchers to identify and measure damage to adenine and guanine, specific chemical components or bases of DNA, at extraordinarily low levels--five lesions out of a 100 million bases in one case. The results correlated well with earlier research and revealed similar damage to liver DNA (more likely tied to the fish’s food) and gill DNA (more probably reflecting pollutants in water).
The results suggest that these DNA lesions, and others like them, can be used as very sensitive biomarkers to provide a direct measure of the impact of contaminants on fish populations. Moreover, since natural DNA repair processes may gradually reverse the damage in the absence of further insults, these biomarkers also might be used to help assess the efficacy of pollution remediation efforts. The work was funded in part by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH).
Michael Baum | EurekAlert!
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy