Upcoming webinar, March 3, 2016, 1-3pm EST: “Environmental Exposures and the Germline: Investigating Causes of Epigenomic and Genomic Errors” Register here.
As evidence mounts that some forms of autism are driven by “de novo” errors in the germline (genomic glitches not present in either parent), the question arises: what environmental factors might contribute to this phenomenon? Leading researchers will delve into questions of germline plasticity, genotoxic exposures, and molecular events that affect DNA.
Dana Dolinoy, PhD, University of Michigan
“Heritable epigenetic effects of germline exposure to toxicants”
• Watch webinar with Dr. Dolinoy on Epigenie
All patients with ADHD should engage in preventive measures, specifically healthy eating and an active lifestyle, as part of routine care to prevent obesity
Childhood Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Sex, and Obesity, mayoclinicproceedings, S0025-6196(15)00770-3, Feb 2016.
To assess obesity rates during childhood and young adulthood in patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and age- and sex-matched controls derived from a population-based birth cohort because cross-sectional studies suggest an association between ADHD and obesity.
Patients and Methods
Study subjects included patients with childhood ADHD (n=336) and age- and sex-matched non-ADHD controls (n=665) from a 1976 to 1982 birth cohort (N=5718). Height, weight, and stimulant treatment measurements were abstracted retrospectively from medical records documenting care provided from January 1, 1976, through August 31, 2010. The association between ADHD and obesity in patients with ADHD relative to controls was estimated using Cox models.
Patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder were 1.23 (95% CI, 1.00-1.50; P<.05) times more likely to be obese during the follow-up period than were non-ADHD controls. This association was not statistically significant in either sex (female participants: hazard ratio [HR], 1.49; 95% CI, 0.98-2.27; P=.06; male participants HR, 1.17, 95% CI, 0.92-1.48; P=.20). Patients with ADHD who were not obese as of the date ADHD research diagnostic criteria were met were 1.56 (95% CI, 1.14-2.13; P<.01) times more likely to be obese during the subsequent follow-up than were controls. This association was statistically significant in female study subjects (HR, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.13-3.60; P=.02), but not in male participants (HR, 1.41; 95% CI, 0.97-2.05; P=.07). A higher proportion of patients with ADHD were obese after the age of 20 years compared with non-ADHD controls (34.4% vs 25.1%; P=.01); this difference was observed only in female patients (41.6% vs 19.2%). There were no differences in obesity rates between stimulant-treated and nontreated patients with ADHD.
Females with ADHD are at risk of developing obesity during adulthood, and stimulant medications used to treat ADHD do not appear to alter that risk.
Childhood ADHD is associated with obesity during childhood and young adulthood in females. Treatment with stimulant medications is not associated with the development of obesity up to young adulthood.
” Depuis quelques années, l’augmentation singulière des maladies chroniques dans le monde, dénoncée par l’OMS, soulève, à juste titre, le rôle d’une dégradation de l’environnement.
Cette menace invisible, cette contamination insidieuse, généralisée de l’air, de l’eau, de l’alimentation relève en particulier des perturbateurs endocriniens environnementaux (pesticides, plastiques, médicaments, ….) qui tiennent la première place à coté de métaux lourds, des OGM, des nanoparticules, …
Ces perturbateurs endocriniens sont actuellement reconnus comme des acteurs de premier plan dans la physiopathologie des maladies endocriniennes, métaboliques, neurologiques, comportementales, respiratoires, et cancéreuses.
Chavel Lopez lives just a few miles north of Texas’ Eagle Ford—one of the many regions in the country recently given a makeover from the fracking industry. He said:
“I just have to drive a bit south and see the wells and the flames,”
For Lopez, rather than a booming industry, these are signs of yet another pollution burden for the region’s people of color. He said:
“We already had issues. Right here in San Antonio, fuel storage tanks were all located on the eastside, predominantly African American neighborhoods”. “For some of these Hispanic neighborhoods, they were already dealing with uranium mining impacts and now the fracking of oil and gas.”
And new evidence supports his fears: Poor and minority neighborhoods bear a disproportionate share of fracking wastewater wells in South Texas’ Eagle Ford play, according to a new study.
The findings add to growing evidence that politically marginalized black, Hispanic and poor communities carry more than their share of the nation’s energy waste burden. Fracking wastewater contains potentially harmful chemicals and metals, and has been linked to surface and groundwater contamination and earthquake spikes.
“It’s another example of the environmental racism throughout the country,”
said lead author Jill Johnston, an assistant professor at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine.
Industry representatives, however, called the study flawed, and said it provided no evidence that wastewater disposal is actually harming people in these communities.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a process that uses horizontal drilling and high volume fluid injections to release oil and gas. Along with water, the injections contain sand and a mix of chemicals—some of which have been linked to cancer, hormone impacts, and reproductive problems.
It’s estimated that every well produces about five million liters of wastewater, which is eventually pumped into disposal wells.
After the Southwest Workers Union—where Lopez works as the labor coordinator—expressed concern about Eagle Ford fracking waste, Johnston and colleagues looked at the racial and economic makeup of residents where oil and gas disposal wells were permitted between 2007 and 2014 in the heavily fracked Eagle Ford area of Texas. The Eagle Ford covers 26 counties and has seen explosive growth as improvements in fracking technology opened the previously untappable reserves. Researchers estimated more than 1,000 new wastewater wells have been permitted in the area since 2007.
They found that—after controlling for population density—people in areas that were more than 80 percent minority were twice as likely to live near permitted wastewater wells than areas less than 20 percent minority.
Of the more than 217,000 minorities living less than three miles from a disposal well, 83 percent were Hispanic, according to the study published last month in the American Journal of Public Health.
One main concern with disposal wells is that wastewater will make it back to surface water or contaminate nearby groundwater, said Desiree Plant, an assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering at Yale University who was not involved in the study.
A separate study published last month in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology reported, “hydraulic-fracturing fluids and wastewater from unconventional oil and natural gas development contain hundreds of substances with the potential to contaminate drinking water.” The authors discovered that many compounds found are linked to reproductive and development impacts.
“A lot of people there [Eagle Ford area] are reliant on groundwater, putting this all underground is jeopardizing water sources,”
Johnston said, adding that the additional truck traffic and other disposal infrastructure only adds to the burden.
Plant said some harmful pollutants such as benzene also can volatize from wastewater and taint the air near disposal wells.
In addition, oil and gas disposal wells are linked to earthquake spikes in states such as Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. Injected wastewater flows into faults, decreasing the resistance to geologic processes that trigger earthquakes, said Justin Rubinstein, a USGS research geophysicist, in a lecture last summer.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that in the central and eastern U.S. from 1973 and 2008 there was an average of 21 earthquakes a year magnitude 3 and larger—that average jumped to 99 from 2009 to 2013, correlating with the fracking boom.
Texas is the nation’s number one oil and gas producer. It has more than 8,000 oil and gas wastewater disposal wells. The Railroad Commission of Texas oversees the wells but locations are chosen by disposal operators, said Ramona Nye, a spokesperson for the Commission.
Oil and gas representatives funneled questions to the Independent Petroleum Association of America’s outreach program called Energy in Depth. Spokesman Steve Everley first questioned via email whether the authors were using “using proximity to minorities as a media hook.”
“What the authors did was pick an area that is well known as a major oil and gas producing region, and has a very high Hispanic population, and then ‘discovered’ that oil and gas development is happening in areas with high Hispanic populations,”
he said in a follow-up email, adding that many heavily Hispanic counties in the Eagle Ford have had unemployment numbers fall over the past 5 years.
The authors didn’t examine siting decisions for disposal wells, Everley noted, which suggests, “that this was more about promoting a particular narrative—one that was probably crafted before any ‘data’ were collected.”
Johnston countered that they found fracking activity slightly more prevalent in white communities but wastewater wells more frequently in communities of color.
The study follows a pattern for U.S. energy waste.
Extrait de l’émission diffusée mardi 2 février à 20h55 sur France 2 par Cash Investigation.
En Gironde, “Cash Investigation” a testé les cheveux de 20 enfants de quatre écoles particulèrement exposées aux pesticides. Les résultats sont stupéfiants…
En Gironde, 132 écoles sont classées “sensibles” à cause de leur proximité avec les épandages de pesticides dans les champs. Dans le Médoc, par exemple, sur certaines parcelles de vignes, il y a jusqu’à 18 épandages de pesticides par saison.
Pour connaître leur exposition à certaines molécules chimiques, l’équipe de “Cash Investigation” a prélevé et analysé les cheveux de 20 enfants de quatre écoles primaires. Les échantillons ont été envoyés à un laboratoire public du Luxembourg. L’analyse des cheveux permet de couvrir une période de temps plus longue que le sang : chaque centimètre de cheveu équivaut à un mois d’exposition. Les résultats sont stupéfiants.
Accurate pesticide use data are essential when studying the environmental and public health impacts of pesticide use. Since the mid-1990s, significant changes have occurred in when and how glyphosate herbicides are applied, and there has been a dramatic increase in the total volume applied.
Data on glyphosate applications were collected from multiple sources and integrated into a dataset spanning agricultural, non-agricultural, and total glyphosate use from 1974–2014 in the United States, and from 1994–2014 globally.
Since 1974 in the U.S., over 1.6 billion kilograms of glyphosate active ingredient have been applied, or 19% of estimated global use of glyphosate (8.6 billion kilograms). Globally, glyphosate use has risen almost 15-fold since so-called “Roundup Ready”, genetically engineered glyphosate-tolerant crops were introduced in 1996. Two-thirds of the total volume of glyphosate applied in the U.S. from 1974 to 2014 has been sprayed in just the last 10 years. The corresponding share globally is 72%. In 2014, farmers sprayed enough glyphosate to apply ~1.0 kg/ha (0.8 pound/acre) on every hectare of U.S.-cultivated cropland and nearly 0.53 kg/ha (0.47 pounds/acre) on all cropland worldwide.
Genetically engineered herbicide-tolerant crops now account for about 56% of global glyphosate use. In the U.S., no pesticide has come remotely close to such intensive and widespread use. This is likely the case globally, but published global pesticide use data are sparse. Glyphosate will likely remain the most widely applied pesticide worldwide for years to come, and interest will grow in quantifying ecological and human health impacts. Accurate, accessible time-series data on glyphosate use will accelerate research progress.
“I am delighted that the HFEA has approved Dr Niakan’s application. Dr Niakan’s proposed research is important for understanding how a healthy human embryo develops and will enhance our understanding of IVF success rates, by looking at the very earliest stage of human development – one to seven days.”
In line with HFEA regulations, any donated embryos will be used for research purposes only and cannot be used in treatment. These embryos will be donated by patients who have given their informed consent to the donation of embryos which are surplus to their IVF treatment.
The genome editing research now needs to gain ethical approval and, subject to that approval, the research programme will begin within the next few months.
Britain gives scientist go-ahead to genetically modify human embryos, reuters, Feb 1, 2016.
CRISPR Editing of Human Embryos Approved in the U.K., genengnews, Feb 1, 2016.
In a world first, UK scientists just got approval to edit human embryos, vox, February 1, 2016.
U.K. Approves First Studies of New Gene Editing Technique CRISPR on Human Embryos, time, Feb 1, 2016.
UK researcher gets go-ahead to create embryos using CRISPR, siliconrepublic, Feb 1, 2016.