Daily Archives: November 26, 2014

Urinary Thiocyanate Associated with Adult Cancer, Lung Problems

Shiue I. Urinary thiocyanate concentrations are associated with adult cancer and lung problems: US NHANES, 2009-2012. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2014 Nov 5. 

Links between environmental chemicals and human health have emerged but the effects from perchlorate, nitrate and thiocyanate were unclear. Therefore, it was aimed to study the relationships of urinary perchlorate, nitrate and thiocyanate concentrations and adult health conditions in a national and population-based study. Data was retrieved from US National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 2009-2012, including demographics, blood pressure readings, self-reported health conditions and urinary perchlorate, nitrate and thiocyanate concentrations. Analyses included chi-square test, t test survey-weighted logistic regression models and population attributable risk estimation. There were no clear associations between urinary perchlorate concentrations and adult health conditions, although people with hearing loss and diabetes could be at the borderline risk. Urinary thiocyanate concentrations were significantly associated with emphysema (odds ratio (OR) 2.70 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.91-3.82, P < 0.001), cancer (OR 1.21 95%CI 1.06-1.39, P = 0.008), chronic bronchitis (OR 1.23 95%CI 1.10-1.52, P = 0.003), wheezing (OR 1.24 95%CI 1.05-1.46, P = 0.011), coughing (OR 1.19 95%CI 1.03-1.37, P = 0.018) and sleep complaints (OR 1.14 95%CI 1.02-1.26, P = 0.019). The population attributable risks accounted for 3.3 % (1.8-5.3 %), 1.9 % (0.6-3.5 %), 1.2 % (0.5-2.6 %), 2.2 % (0.5-4.1 %), 1.8 % (0.3-6.2 %) and 1.3 % (0.2-2.4 %) for emphysema, cancer, chronic bronchitis, wheezing, coughing and sleep complaints, respectively. In addition, there was an inverse association observed between urinary nitrate level and heart failure. This is for the first time observing significant risk effects of urinary thiocyanate concentrations on adult cancer and lung problems, although the causality cannot be established. Elimination of such environmental chemical in humans should be included in future health policy and intervention programs.

Click here for full paper (fee).

Chronic Fluorosis Associated with Learning Deficits, Memory Loss?

Dong YT, Wang Y, Wei N, Zhang QF, Guan ZZ. Deficit in learning and memory of rats with chronic fluorosis correlates with the decreased expressions of M1 and M3 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. Archives of Toxicology 2014 Nov 23.

To reveal the molecular mechanism of deficit in learning and memory induced by chronic fluorosis, the expression of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) and oxidative stress were investigated. Sixty Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were divided randomly into two groups (30 cases in each), i.e., the control group (<0.5 ppm fluoride in drinking water) and the fluoride group (50 ppm fluoride) for 10 months of treatment. The pups born from SD mothers with or without chronic fluorosis were selected at postnatal days 1, 7, 14, 21 and 28 for experiments (10 for each age). Spatial learning and memory were evaluated by Morris water maze test. The expressions of M1 and M3 mAChRs at the protein and mRNA levels were determined by Western blotting and real-time PCR, respectively. In addition, the contents of ·OH, H2O2, O2 ·- and malondialdehyde (MDA), and activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) in brains were quantitated by biochemical methods. Our results showed that as compared to controls, the abilities of learning and memory were declined in the adult rats and the offspring rats of postnatal day 28 in the fluoride groups; the expressions of both M1 and M3 mAChRs were significantly reduced at protein and mRNA levels; and the levels of ·OH, H2O2, O2 ·- and MDA were significantly increased, while the activities of SOD and GSH-Px decreased. Interestingly, the decreased protein levels of M1 and M3 mAChRs were significantly correlated with the deficits of learning and memory and high level of oxidative stress induced by chronic fluorosis. Our results suggest that the mechanism for the deficits in learning and memory of rats with chronic fluorosis may be associated with the decreased expressions of M1 and M3 in mAChRs, in which the changes in the receptors might be the result of the high level of oxidative stress occurring in the disease.

Coliform Bacteria in Slovakia Cave Waters

Seman M, Gaálová B, Cíchová M, Prokšová M, Haviarová D, Fľaková R. The occurrence of coliform bacteria in the cave waters of Slovak Karst, Slovakia. Folia microbiologica 2014 Nov 23.

The diversity and abundance of coliform bacteria (taxonomically enterobacterias), an important quality water indicator, were determined for four representative caves in Slovak Karst: Domica Cave, Gombasecká Cave, Milada Cave and Krásnohorská Cave. Three hundred and fifty-two enterobacterial isolates were successfully identified by biochemical testing (commercial ENTEROtest 24) and selected isolates confirmed by molecular techniques (PCR, 16S rDNA sequence analysis). A total of 39 enterobacterial species were isolated from cave waters, with predominance of Escherichia coli, Serratia spp. and Enterobacter spp. PCR amplification of lacZ gene is not specific enough to provide a reliable detection of coliform bacteria isolated from the environment. Sequence analysis of 16S rDNA confirmed that all of the selected isolates belong to the family Enterobacteriaceae. In general, physical and chemical parameters of cave waters in Slovak Karst corresponded to national drinking water quality standards.

Carbonate Enhances Antimicrobial Silver

Swathy JR, Sankar MU, Chaudhary A, Aigal S, Anshup, Pradeep TAntimicrobial silver: An unprecedented anion effect. Scientific reports 2014 Nov 24;4:7161. doi: 10.1038/srep07161.

Silver is an indispensable metal but its use has to be minimised for sustainable growth. Much of the silver lost during use is unrecoverable; an example being its use as an antimicrobial agent, a property known since ages. While developing methods to create an affordable drinking water purifier especially for the developing world, we discovered that 50 parts per billion (ppb) of Ag(+) released continuously from silver nanoparticles confined in nanoscale cages is enough to cause antimicrobial activity in conditions of normal water. <b>Here we show that the antibacterial and antiviral activities of Ag(+) can be enhanced ~1,000 fold, selectively, in presence of carbonate ions whose concentration was maintained below the drinking water norms. The protective layers of the organisms were affected during the carbonate-assisted antimicrobial activity.</b> It is estimated that ~1,300 tons of silver can be saved annually using this new way to enhance its antimicrobial activity.

Click here for the full paper (Open Access).


Green House “Heat Trapping” Effect Refuted, Disproved

“Robert W. Wood, a professor of experimental physics at the Johns Hopkins University, was perhaps the first “skeptic” of the greenhouse gas “heat trapping” theory, and in 1909 performed a series of classic experiments which disproved its three major assumptions.” – The Hockey Schtick – June 28, 2010 click here