Environmental

Recent Posts

Formaldehyde is found in a broad range of clothing and household products
Posted on 8 Feb 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Formaldehyde is a Group 1 human carcinogen. Search at Toxnet Toxicology Data Network . In the past, exposure to the populace was often linked to its presence in glues and binders used in furniture and paneling, although it is also found in shampoo, conditioners... Read More

More Studies are Focusing on the Types of Bacteria that are Part of all Humans
Posted on 20 Jun 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted that a) for every 1 human cell there are 10 bacteria in or on our bodies; b) these bacteria are key to the digestion of our food, production of necessary nutrients, and disease prevention; c) the nature of our diet influences the... Read More

Bird Flu May Increase Risk of Parkinson's
Posted on 15 Feb 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

At least in mice, the "bird flu", known more specifically as H5N1, may make those who survive the disease more susceptible to Parkinson's Disease. Although flu is generally thought of as a disease of the body, H5N1 can move into the brain... Read More

Bee Explorers Have a Slightly Different Genetic Makeup than the Rest of the Hive
Posted on 6 May 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Researchers have found that honey bees who consistently explore new environments for food have different genetic activity in their brains than their less-adventurous hive mates. In a demonstration how nature often uses the same tools in various settings... Read More

Are Grizzly Bears Tool Users? A Sample of One Suggests the Possibility
Posted on 16 Mar 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Tool use is usually interpreted as a sign of sophisticated brain processing and/or social organization. With the exception of primates, there are not many mammals that use tools (e.g., sea otters use rocks to smash open clams, dolphins use sponges on... Read More

Seaweed and licorice may help improve the immune system of swine, decreasing the need for antibiotics
Posted on 6 Jun 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

As noted in prior posts, antibiotics are used not only to treat disease in animals, but also to prevent disease and to stimulate growth. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry has lead to the rapid development... Read More

Bush Meat Can Be a Potent Source of Viruses that Cross the Species "Barrier" and Threaten Human Health
Posted on 28 Mar 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted the animal origin of many diseases that adversely impact humans (e.g., measles, chicken pox, H5N1 "bird flu"); a recent devastating example, of course, is HIV. Some of these diseases, like HIV and measles, diverged from... Read More

DNA Predicts Only a Few Disorders
Posted on 13 May 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted that gene functioning can be modified by a number of processes, such as methylation. Recently animal tests have found that some of these modifications are passed on to off-spring even though no change is made to the gene itself... Read More

Steps Are Being Taken by Various Entities to Reduce Consumer Exposure to BPA
Posted on 18 Mar 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Numerous prior posts noted that nearly everyone in the U.S. has low levels of BPA in their body, and have reviewed the animal and laboratory studies which indicate that BPA exposure may have adverse health effects on humans. It has also been noted that... Read More

Evolutionary Change Is Just That, Change, and Change Often Is a Mixed Bag and More Complex Than Anticipated
Posted on 3 Apr 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

There is an unfortunate tendency to conceive of evolutionary change as causing an adaption to a selection factor that marks an improvement in addressing the environment in which the selection factor exists. Were it only so simple. Change may be an improvement... Read More

What Makes a Mammal? The Boundaries May Be Getting a Tad Fuzzy
Posted on 14 Jun 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

What makes an animal a mammal? Well, in school we all learned the characteristics that determine what is a mammal: "warm blooded" (endothermy), body hair, three middle ear bones, live birth, and functional mammary glands in mothers with young... Read More

Intestinal bacteria may trigger multiple sclerosis
Posted on 21 Jan 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Physicians have not identified the cause of multiple sclerosis. Theses include an individual's genetics, environment, and possibly a virus. In such an environment, all types of theories can be thrown up and become the basis for litigation, not unlike... Read More

Statistics, a weak link in environmental, medical, & toxicological studies?
Posted on 10 Nov 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Statistics are used throughout science both by those proposing a conclusion and those opposed to said conclusion. Statistics form the basis for a wide variety of claims made about environmental, medical, and toxicological matters. I would even go so... Read More

Unexpectedly, Prions Can Move Between Species and Target Organs Other Than the Brain
Posted on 28 May 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

A recent post noted that viruses from bush meat can jump from one species to the next, and that as such bush meat poses a major health threat. The mobility of prions has also been underestimated. (For a general description of prions, see Prion .) Researchers... Read More

Arctic seafloor is "leaking" methane
Posted on 10 Mar 2010 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

As noted in prior posts, the evidence for climate change can be found in the many changes occurring across the globe. One of the most disturbing such events is the recent evidence that the Arctic seafloor is emitting methane into the atmosphere. As noted... Read More