BPA's fluorinated "twin" may be more of a health threat than BPA

Prior posts have noted in detail the debate over the potential adverse health effects of BPA (e.g., estrogen mimic), with the vast majority of research studies indicating that the Bush Administration FDA was incorrect in down-playing the potential adverse health effects of BPA. BPA appears to alter the...

Diet impacts gut bacteria, which in turn influences rates of asthma, allergies, inflammatory bowl disease, and other inflammatory diseases

When children become sick, when rates of disease increase in adults, both apparently without an obvious cause, there is an unfortunate tendency for some to seek to profit at the expense of the suffering by offering up phony theories and bizarre hypotheses to "explain" these impacts. Witness...

Why are mammals warm blooded? Thank fungi?

The optimum body temperature for warding off fungal infections, without burning too much energy, is 36.7 degrees Celsius (close to the core temperature for mammals), according to researchers. The research supports an emerging theory that fungal organisms may have been a driving force in the evolution...

Decline of Western Aspen trees swells population of rodents that carry the deadly sin nombre virus

As noted in prior posts, Aspen trees in the West have been dying. There appears to be no single cause. However, drought in the 1990's and early 2000's probably made the trees more susceptible to cankers, fungi, and other maladies. The result is that some sites have lost as much as 2/3 or more...

Scented consumer products emit over 100 different VOC's; some are carcinogenic

For those of us acquainted with researchers examining VOC exposure to individuals from scented consumer products (for example, at U.C. Berkeley and at U.C. Medical Center in San Francisco), it comes as no surprise that there is a bouquet of VOC's wafting into homes and work places. However, researchers...

EPA announces new air emission regulations for coal-fired power plants

Prior posts have noted the numerous studies that support the view that emissions from a variety of sources, including automobiles, trucks, and power plants, have an adverse impact on the health of those exposed to such emissions. It is also fairly certain that one significant source of mercury contamination...

Sprawling cities appear to experience more extreme heat events in summer compared with more compact urban areas, contributing to higher rates of heat-related mortality

Although extreme heat events have become more common in large U.S. cities, a recent study indicates that sprawling cities experience more than double the rate of extreme heat events in the summer compared with more compact urban areas. Researchers examined data from 53 U.S. metropolitan areas for...

Natural gas development poses a risk of enhancing GHG emissions due to "leakage", note new studies

Several prior posts have noted the greenhouse impact of methane (aka natural gas); it has many times the warming effect as carbon dioxide (CO2), which seems to be the focus of so much discussion about global warming. The posts have focused on the numerous "natural" sources of methane emissions...

Humans can transmit diseases to gorillas

Prior posts have noted and described a number of human diseases that had their origin in animals. Now it appears that some diseases can be transmitted from humans to gorillas. Ecotourism has been seen as a boon for countries with "interesting" biota; it provides funding for protection of...

Evidence supports association between methylmercury exposure and adverse cardiovascular impacts

Traditionally, when one considers exposure to methylmercury, adverse impacts upon the brain and kidneys are foremost in any risk assessment. See, for example, http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=113&tid=24 . Given the state of the evidence, it would appear that this paradigm needs to be amended...

Another reason to control erosion and nutrient runoff -- Cholera

Numerous prior posts have followed the growing understanding of what factors drive the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. It pretty much comes down to nutrient runoff into the Mississippi River and its tributaries (e.g., sewage, feedlots, agricultural fertilizers). Now, another association of such nutrient additions...