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EPA Researchers Win Best Toxicological Paper Awards

2015 March 19
EPA scientists Yong Ho Kim, Christina Powers, and Russell S. Thomas

EPA scientists Yong Ho Kim, Christina Powers, and Russell S. Thomas were recognized by the Society for Toxicology.

By Dina Abdulhadi

EPA researchers will be honored March 22, 2015 at the Society of Toxicology’s 54th annual meeting and ToxExpo in San Diego, CA for their work to advance understanding of the effects of chemicals on human and environmental health. Having worked in a toxicology lab at EPA for the past year, I can appreciate the significant amount of hours and effort that go into producing publishable scientific work.

The first authors on the papers receiving the honors are Russell S. Thomas, Director of EPA’s National Center for Computational Toxicology, Yong Ho Kim and Christina Powers.

EPA scientist Russell S. Thomas accepts his award

March 23 update: EPA scientist Russell S. Thomas accepts his award.

Thomas and his co-authors won the Best Paper in Toxicological Sciences Award. Their work used risk assessment models to understand how chemicals affect the way our genetic information translates into molecules and results in cancer and non-cancer effects. This type of so-called “omics” data (such as transcriptomics data) can be used to help make decisions on regulating chemicals. The paper, “Temporal Concordance between Apical and Transcriptional Points of Departure for Chemical Risk Assessment” was published in Toxicological Sciences, the official journal of the Society of Toxicology.

Kim and Powers each received a Best Postdoctoral Publication Award, provided to early-career scientists for their contributions in toxicology.

Kim’s paper addressed how the size of particulate matter, an air pollutant from peat fires, may affect the type of health impact. Larger particles were linked to respiratory effects, while smaller particles were linked to cardiovascular effects. The paper, “Cardiopulmonary Toxicity of Peat Wildfire Particulate Matter and the Predictive Utility of Precision Cut Lung Slices,” was published in Particle and Fibre Toxicology.

The study also found a way to decrease the animals needed for an experiment. That’s a big plus for both the effort to reduce the use of animals in research and cost. Cultured lung tissue slices (ex vivo) of an animal produced similar lung toxicity data when compared to a whole animal (in vivo).

Powers received an award for a paper that connects research planning to risk assessments of certain chemicals in the environment. The research focused on multi-walled carbon nanotubes, which are used in a variety of consumer products as flame retardants. The paper, “Sparking Connections: Toward Better Linkages between Research and Human Health Policy — An Example with Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes” is published in Toxicological Sciences.

The Society of Toxicology (SOT) will formally award the researchers at an awards ceremony. SOT is an organization of over 7,600 scientists whose goal is to create a safer and healthier world by advancing the science of toxicology.

If you are attending this year’s Society of Toxicology annual meeting, I encourage you to find out more about EPA’s advances in toxicology research. EPA’s research will be featured during SOT sessions, symposia, workshops, platform presentations, poster sessions and at EPA’s booth in the exhibit hall. To find out when EPA’s research will be featured at SOT, you can visit EPA’s SOT web page at: http://epa.gov/research/sot/. For more information on the awards and the Society of Toxicology, check out the press release.

About the Author: Dina Abdulhadi is a student contractor currently working with the science communication team in EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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Exciting Times for Toxicology: Creating New Predictive Models

2015 March 18

By Dr. James H. Johnson, Jr.

image of a computer chip with wires coming offNext week, a number of my EPA colleagues will join toxicologists from across the world in San Diego, CA for the Society of Toxicology’s 54th Annual Meeting and “ToxExpo.” The gathering will feature more than 160 scientific sessions and 2,400 poster presentations, providing important insights into how the study of chemical toxicity can better protect public health and the environment.

Although this particular conference has been going on for more than half a century, these are exciting times for toxicologists. And I’m proud to say that EPA is helping lead the way.

Our researchers and their partners are ushering in a new generation of chemical testing and screening methods, developing “virtual embryos” and other complex models that use scientific data, computer power, and sophisticated calculations to mimic the potential effects of toxins on actual tissues and organs. With other federal partners, they are using robots to advance fast and efficient high-throughput-screening assays, greatly accelerating the pace of chemical screening while dramatically reducing the use of laboratory animals—and costs.

We are also supporting innovative, world-class research through our Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant program. New STAR grants will be announced at the Society of Toxicology’s Annual Meeting (March 25 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) when we will hold a kickoff meeting of our newly established Organotypic Cell Models for Predictive Toxicology Centers. This research is part of EPA’s Chemical Safety for Sustainability research program.

The research Centers are being established to  develop three-dimensional models, sometimes called “organs-on-a-chip,” which can be used to replicate human biological interactions within tissues and organs. When developed and evaluated, these models known as Organotypic Culture Models (hence the name of the Centers) will help investigate the toxic effects of chemical substances. Such models are established from isolated cells or from tissue fragments, bridging the gap between conventional, single-layered cell cultures and whole-animal systems.

What the Centers learn will be used to develop computational models that can help predict responses and outcomes from chemical exposures, such as human disease and long-term effects on tissue and organ growth. The models they develop will also mimic biological functions such as a metabolic process.

If you are attending the Society of Toxicology’s 54th Annual Meeting and “ToxExpo” this year, you are welcome to come to the March 25th grantee kick-off meeting.

The impact of all this activity is a new wave of toxicology testing that is faster, more efficient, and far less costly. This will help us at EPA with our number one priority: protecting human health and the environment. That’s some pretty exciting news.

About the Author: Dr. James H. Johnson Jr. is the Director of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research, which runs the Agency’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program as well as other grant, fellowship, and awards programs that support high quality research by many of our nation’s leading scientists and engineers.

Please note: We’ll be sharing more about EPA participation at the annual Society of Toxicology Meeting throughout next week, so please check back to learn more.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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This Week in EPA Science

2015 March 13

By Kacey FitzpatrickResearch Recap St. Patrick's Day

Can’t wait until next week to be green? Start St. Patrick’s Day a little early by reading about environmental science!

Here’s the latest in EPA research.

  • EPA Administrator Visits Newark’s New Community Air Pollution Project
    Administrator Gina McCarthy joined New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, and other community members at Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood Family Success Center to launch an EPA-Ironbound partnership for community air monitoring that is a first of its kind citizen science project.
    Read about the partnership in Training Citizen Scientists to Monitor Air Quality.
  • Got an Environmental Science Question? Ask an EPA Scientist!
    Have you ever had a question about something you saw and wished you had an expert you could ask? In this new blog series, I ask EPA scientists questions about environmental science that were submitted online. The first post tackles this question – Is road salt bad for the environment?
    Read the answer in this week’s Ask an EPA Scientist blog.
  • Contributions in Environmental and Conservation Fields
    March is Women’s History Month, and EPA is marking the event by highlighting the many contributions women have made to the environmental and conservation fields. We shared advice that EPA women scientists and engineers have for students looking to make their own mark in environmental and conservation history.
    Read their advice in this Women’s History Month blog.

If you have any comments or questions about what I shared or about the week’s events, please submit them below in the comments section!

About the Author: Kacey Fitzpatrick is a student contractor and writer working with the science communication team in EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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Training Citizen Scientists to Monitor Air Quality

2015 March 13

By Amanda Kaufman

Next-generation air monitor developed by EPA researchers

Next-generation air monitor developed by EPA researchers

As a science fellow at EPA, I am working with Agency researchers to help bring local air measurement capabilities to communities. This includes training citizen scientists with next generation air monitors developed by EPA researchers. One such device is the Citizen Science Air Monitor, which contains many sophisticated instruments to measure air quality under its sleek and simple design.

Today, Administrator Gina McCarthy is joining New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, and other community members at Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood Family Success Center to launch an EPA-Ironbound partnership for community air monitoring that is a first of its kind citizen science project. Read the press release.

The monitor does a lot for being so small and portable. It measures two air pollutants—nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter—as well as relative humidity and temperature. Residents of the Ironbound community are using the monitors to measure pollutants in different locations, during different times of the day and under a variety of weather conditions. The community is impacted by many sources of air pollutants.

In January, I traveled to Newark with researchers who developed the monitor to help train members of the Ironbound Community Corporation to use and maintain the monitors and collect data. The training was very hands-on and the participants were enthusiastic. They even turned the exercise for assembling the monitors into a friendly competition.

EPA researchers shared two training manuals that they developed as part of the outreach project. The quality assurance guidelines and operating procedures manuals are available to the public and are part of an online Citizen Science Toolbox developed to assist citizen scientists who are interested in using new air sensor technologies.

While the quality assurance guidelines and operating procedure are specific to the monitor developed for the Ironbound community, many of the concepts detailed in the documents are transferable to similar air quality monitoring efforts using next generation air monitors. The manuals are:

The ultimate goal of the research project is to empower people with information to address their local air quality concerns. I am glad to be a part of this important activity empowering a community to monitor their local quality

About the Author: Amanda Kaufman is an ORISE participant hosted by EPA’s Air, Climate, and Energy national research program.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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Got an Environmental Science Question? Ask an EPA Scientist!

2015 March 10

By Kacey Fitzpatrick

 

Front loader loads road salt into a large dump truck.

What happens to all that salt? Image courtesy of Maryland State Highway Administration

Have you ever had a question about something you saw and wished you had an expert you could ask? This happens to me all the time, so I decided to take advantage of working at EPA and start a new blog series called ‘Ask an EPA Scientist.’

I’m kicking off the series with a question that’s been on my mind recently.

Walking in a winter wonderland can be magical – but what about driving in one? Not so great. As I was driving (very slowly) through a snowstorm last week, I started wondering: What happens to all that road salt after the snow melts? Is it bad for the environment?

To find out, I asked EPA ecologist Paul Mayer, Ph.D. who conducts research on riparian zones and stream restoration. He and two Agency colleagues recently published a paper (Cooper et al. 2014) looking at the effects of road salt on a local stream.

Below is what he told me.

EPA Ecologist Paul Mayer, Ph.D. at a stream restoration research site.

EPA Ecologist Paul Mayer, Ph.D. at a stream restoration research site.

Paul Mayer: Road salts are an important tool for making roads safer during ice and snowstorms. Every winter about 22 million tons of road salt and other de-icers are used nationwide. Some washes from roadways into nearby bodies of water. This is a growing concern for the health of our urban watersheds because it can affect water quality and aquatic organisms.

I’ve been part of a study collecting surface and ground water data in Minebank Run, an urban stream in Maryland, since November 2001. We found that salt levels (chloride and sodium) there are chronically elevated throughout the year.

Road salts can accumulate and persist in our waterways, often even into the summer months. We found that the levels are significantly higher downstream of a major nearby road (I-695 beltway), suggesting that this roadway is a significant source of salts in the watershed.

This is a concern for Minebank Run because such salinization may reduce the benefits of restoration work that has been done, limiting the benefits the stream provides the local community and across the watershed. Increased salinity in freshwater systems can also damage or kill vegetation. Other research has indicated that road salts represent a risk to the safety of drinking water sources in the Baltimore area and elsewhere (Kaushal et al. 2005).

The implication of our research and others’ is that stream ecosystems in areas where road salts are routinely applied are at risk of environmental damage and that human health may also be at risk if water supplies are affected.

Kacey: I’m glad I asked! I also found some additional information that includes what we can do to reduce the impact of road salt:

 

Ask an EPA Scientist!
Do you have your own environmental science questions you’d like to see featured on our blog? Please email them to Fitzpatrick.kacey@epa.gov, post them in the comments section below, or tweet them to @EPAresearch using #EnvSciQ. We’ll pick as many as we can to pass along to our scientists, get them answered, and share the Q&A here on this blog. Stay tuned!

About the Author: Curious science writer Kacey Fitzpatrick is a student contractor working with EPA’s Science Communication team, and a frequent contributor to It All Starts with Science.

References Cited

Cooper, CA, PM Mayer, BR Faulkner.  2014.  Effects of road salts on groundwater and surface water dynamics of sodium and chloride in an urban restored stream.  Biogeochemistry 121:149-166.  DOI: 10.1007/s10533-014-9968-z  (Accessed at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10533-014-9968-z)

Kaushal, et al. 2005. Increased salinization of fresh water in the northeastern United States. PNAS 102:13517-13520. (Accessed at http://www.pnas.org/content/102/38/13517.abstract.)

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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Women’s History Month: Contributions in Environmental and Conservation Fields

2015 March 9

“One of the things that I really strongly believe in is that we need to have more girls interested in math, science, and engineering. We’ve got half the population that is way underrepresented in those fields and that means that we’ve got a whole bunch of talent…not being encouraged the way they need to.”

– President Barack Obama, February 2013

 

Ecologist at the back of an open vehicle working with field samples.

EPA Ecologist Jana Compton, Ph.D.

March is Women’s History Month, and EPA is marking the event by highlighting the many contributions women have made to the environmental and conservation fields. To help get things rolling, we are sharing advice that EPA women scientists and engineers have for students looking to make their own mark in environmental and conservation history.

Below is what they say…

  • Learn
    You need to learn as much as you can, and you need to be very flexible about what you’re going to do with that knowledge. I think that scientists are primarily trained in scientific principles. They are given tools, but over the years, the tools and problems will change, so you really have to be adaptive.
    - EPA Chemist Linda Sheldon
  • Love It
    My advice is to start with something you love. That was biology for me, even though I ended up with a degree in chemical engineering. Branch out when you have the time. Spend your time in high school discovering the things you love and see where that leads you.
    - EPA Environmental Engineer Felicia Barnett
  •  Be Proactive
    Do what you like! It’s your career path, so be proactive and look for new opportunities wherever you can. Take risks and take advantage of co-ops, internships, and volunteer activities.
    - Research Fellow Nisha S. Sipes, Ph.D.
  • Branch Out
    I would try lots of things and branch out. It’s important not to get narrowed into a particular field too early. I encourage young people to be adventurous when it comes to their education.
    -EPA Biologist Laura Jackson, Ph.D.
  • Seize the Day
    If you are interested in pursuing a STEM career, now is the best time to do it since there are many opportunities in the form of internships and scholarships available for students, especially for those from underrepresented groups, including minorities, women, and disadvantaged students. There are numerous opportunities out there!
    -EPA Chemist Ana Rivera-Lupiáñez
  • Keep at It
    Don’t give up early! Engineering is a lot of work in the beginning. It’s not always obvious in some of the beginning courses why it is relevant, but when it all comes together, you’ll find out you have all the skills you need to solve the big and interesting problems.
    -Chemical Engineer, Deborah Luecken
  • Learn
    Never stop learning. Use every opportunity in life to learn, apply it and educate others. Learning should be an unfinished goal in every person’s life.
    -EPA scientist Luz V. Garcia, M.S., M.E.
  • Be Open
    Always keep an open mind! I started out in dental research and here I am working in risk assessment. It is okay to move around and try new things, even if you have to go back a few steps. If you love it, it is worth it.
    -EPA Scientist Maureen R. Gwinn, MS PhD DABT
  • Go For It
    It’s important to learn the basic principles behind scientific reasoning because although technology is always changing, the knowledge of those basic scientific principles will continue to guide you.
    -EPA Scientist Cynthia Yund, Ph.D.
  • Challenge Yourself
    As a scientist there are a lot of fun and exciting things to learn and do. You get the opportunity to try many different things over the course of your career because new challenges are always presented.
    -EPA Environmental Engineer, Terra Haxton, Ph.D.
  • Contribute
    I think being a scientist is one of the most enabling professions. There are so many levels in society in which you can contribute to. There are so many problems in our society that require science-based solutions; scientific training should be seen as a door-opener to a diversity of opportunities.
    - EPA Exposure Scientist and National Program Director Dr. Tina Bahadori
  • Enjoy the Path
    Don’t be discouraged if you don’t immediately see the path you want to take. As you get more and more advanced, that’s when you start to discover what really excites you. Enjoy that process of discovery and the adventure!
    -EPA Scientist Jordan West, Ph.D.
  • Be Fearless
    Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! That’s when you learn things.
    -EPA Scientist, Cecilia Tan, Ph.D.
  • Explore
    No matter what you think you want to do, college is the time to experience new things and take lots of different courses. Also make sure you’re doing something that is not science oriented, such as pursuing a hobby. You need to develop a passion for something outside of science.
    -EPA Scientist Nicolle Tulve, Ph.D.
  • Work Hard
    I think the 95% perspiration and 5% inspiration rule applies here! You need to love what you do because it will require a lot of hard work.
    -EPA Ecologist Jana Compton, Ph.D.
  • Practice
    If you think about almost any sport you have learned, it takes a lot of practice. No one’s good at soccer when they start, or at baseball or football or at any sport. It takes years of practice, and it really takes you just liking it and wanting to spend a lot of time doing it.
    -EPA engineer Gayle Hagler. Ph.D.
  • Keep Adding
    If you have natural math ability, don’t give up on it! There seems to be a myth, particularly among young women, that if you major in math you either have to go into accounting or be a math teacher.
    - EPA Scientist Susan Yee, Ph.D.
  • Be Bold
    Listen to and learn from others but march to your own drum; don’t be afraid to draw outside the lines, this is how great ideas become great advancements.  Facing unprecedented challenges, the world needs more scientists and it needs scientists hailing from a wide diversity of backgrounds.
    -EPA Research Scientist Anne Neal
EPA Scientist at work in a lab

EPA Scientist at work

 

Learn More!

Learn more about EPA scientists and engineers, how their science matters, and how they started their careers at “EPA Researchers@Work.”

 

 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

This Week in EPA Science

2015 March 6

By Kacey FitzpatrickResearch recap graphic identifier, a microscope with the words "research recap" around it in a circle

Rawr – this March certainly came in like a lion! With a big late-winter storm leaving a path of snow, sleet and freezing rain across much of the country—including enough to shut down our offices here in Washington, DC yesterday—it’s starting to feel like spring is never going to arrive.

Please enjoy the latest in EPA science while we patiently wait for things to thaw out.

  • Making Connections for Citizen Science
    The Citizen Science Association recently hosted their inaugural conference where attendees shared new and inventive ways to actively involve individuals in quality scientific research. EPA’s Rachel McIntosh-Kastrinsky teaches sixth and seventh graders how to use low-cost environmental sensors. She presented her project at the conference.
    Read about her experience in her Making Connections for Citizen Science blog post.
  • EPA’s Scientific Integrity Annual Report
    EPA works to ensure that every scientist and engineer who works for or in partnership with the Agency upholds the highest standards of scientific integrity. This week EPA released the Fiscal Year 2014 Scientific Integrity Annual Report. The report highlights accomplishments and identifies areas for improvement and action.
    EPA’s Scientific Integrity Officer Francesca Grifo discusses the release in her message Our Commitment to Scientific Integrity at EPA.

And coming up soon…

  • EnviroAtlas: Connecting people, ecosystems, and well-being
    Interested in learning how to visualize and explore nature’s benefits, such as clean air and water, food, and opportunities for recreation? This webinar will introduce EnviroAtlas and provide an in-depth demonstration of the Interactive Map.
    The webinar is Tuesday, March 17th from 3:00PM to 4:30PM.

If you have any comments or questions about what I shared or about the week’s events, please submit them below in the comments section!

About the Author: Kacey Fitzpatrick is a student contractor and writer working with the science communication team in EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Making Connections for Citizen Science

2015 March 3

By Rachel McIntosh-Kastrinsky

Sharing citizen science

Sharing citizen science

Standing on the dais in front of accomplished scientists and professionals, I faced a series of tough questions about my program, but I was accustomed to fielding probing questions from my 12- and 13-year-olds on a regular basis.

Two weeks ago, I presented my project—teaching sixth and seventh graders how to use low-cost environmental sensors—at the Citizen Science Association’s inaugural conference in San Jose, Calif. Citizen science is an emerging field that actively engages community members and formal scientists in data gathering and research. Several EPA colleagues also attended the conference, called CitSci2015.

Last fall, I worked with Citizen Schools (also see Chasing the “Wow” with Citizen Schools and EPA Science) on an after-school class for middle schoolers in northern Durham, N.C., teaching them how we can use low-cost sensors to quantify the environment around us.

Citizen School students from Neal Middle School (Durham, NC) measure dissolved oxygen levels in water.

Citizen School students from Neal Middle School (Durham, NC) measure dissolved oxygen levels in water.

Though I was nervous about presenting an education-based project instead of a scientific-based study, I soon realized I had found the right conference. My fellow presenters also shared their educational and student-based citizen science projects. I was able to learn about new ways to engage citizen scientists and foster continued project participation. At the same time, I got to share my experiences and lessons learned about citizen science (and dealing with middle schoolers).

Surprisingly, this was only a single, 75-minute session.

Throughout CitSci2015, attendees shared new and inventive ways to actively involve individuals in quality scientific research. Data quality is always in question with citizen science, and CitSci2015 presented several sessions on how to address this, including talks by fellow EPAers about their Air Sensor Toolbox and the Agency’s vision for citizen science.

Several other talks emphasized the importance of ensuring communities are involved not only in the data collection but in all the steps of the project—from the research question to sharing the results. Chris Filardi, the keynote speaker, underlined this point when kicking off the conference by saying the researcher “should be riding shotgun.”

CitSci2015 created connections and new partnerships between non-profits, academics, state, local and federal governments and private industry. These new connections will help move citizen science and science in general forward by utilizing all available resources, especially communities.

CitSci2015 emphasized that the roots of citizen science have been established through engagements in environmental science, highlighting a continued role for EPA in this growing movement.

About the author: Rachel McIntosh-Kastrinsky is an Association of School and Programs of Public Health Environmental Health Fellow, hosted by EPA.

Note: For more insights from CitSci2015, check out the conversations on Twitter: #WhyICitSci, and #CitSci2015. The conference agenda and my presentation can be found on the Citizen Science Association website.

 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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Our Commitment to Scientific Integrity at EPA

2015 March 2

The following is an excerpt of a blog posted on EPA Connect, the Official Blog of EPA Leadership earlier today.

 

By Francesca T. Grifo

annual_report_scientific_integrity_2014As someone who has devoted her career to the advancement of strong, independent science, I am thrilled to announce the release of EPA’s Fiscal Year 2014 Scientific Integrity Annual Report. In the report, we highlight accomplishments and identify areas for improvement and action, exemplifying the Agency’s unwavering commitment to setting and upholding the highest standards of scientific integrity in an open, transparent way.

The Scientific Integrity Annual Report we just released is the latest example of our efforts to continually monitor and share our performance, and take swift action when needed.  Because research provides the foundation for every action the Agency takes to meet our mission to protect human health and safeguard the environment, we are actively cultivating a culture across the Agency and beyond that embraces scientific integrity at all levels. We are working to ensure that every scientist and engineer who works for or in partnership with the Agency conducts investigation that are at once free from conflicts of interest, unburdened by bias or interference, transparent, and present results in fair, accurate, and accessible ways.

Read the rest of the post. 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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This Week in EPA Science

2015 February 27

By Kacey FitzpatrickResearch recap graphic identifier, a microscope with the words "research recap" around it in a circle

Are you in need of a good indoor activity this very snowy February? How about catching up on what’s been happening in EPA science!

Check out the research that we’ve highlighted this week.

  • New Model for Mississippi Nutrient Pollution
    EPA researchers developed the Coastal General Ecosystem Model to address the nutrient pollution flowing from the Mississippi River watershed into the Gulf of Mexico. The state-of-the-art model provides a wealth of important information to scientists and stakeholders seeking to better understand and manage nutrient pollution in the Gulf.
    Read about the model in this “Around the Water Cooler” blog.
  • Applying EPA Research to the Underworlds
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists are building on the work of EPA scientist Christian Daughton to study community health by monitoring sewage. Daughton published conceptual research in 2012 presenting his idea of Sewage Chemical Information Mining.
    Read about how an EPA Pathfinder Innovation Project inspired the MIT scientists.
  • Precision Medicine: Treatments Targeted to the Individual
    President Obama has outlined his vision for a Precision Medicine Initiative, “a bold new research effort to revolutionize how we improve health and treat disease.” One EPA researcher has been at the forefront of this topic for more than a decade.
    Read more about that research in this blog.
  • Chasing the “WOW!” With Citizen Schools and EPA Science
    EPA staff have been volunteering in the “Citizen Schools” program to teach hands-on, after school apprenticeships. Agency student contractor Andrew Murray experienced many “wow” moments leading one, called “Power Play,” focused on studying various energy generation methods, and their relations to pollution and climate change.
    Read about Murray’s wow experience.
  • Breastfed Infants have Lower Arsenic Exposure than Formula-fed Infants
    A recently published study from the Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center at Dartmouth College, jointly funded by EPA and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, has found that babies who are fed by formula rather than breastfeeding may be taking in higher levels of arsenic. The findings suggest that breastfed infants have lower arsenic exposure than formula-fed infants, and that both formula powder and drinking water can be sources of exposure for U.S. infants.
    Read Estimated Exposure to Arsenic in Breastfed and Formula-Fed Infants in a United States Cohort (Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.140878).
  • Happy 20th Anniversary to EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research!
    EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research is celebrating 20 years of supporting high quality research by the nation’s leading scientists and engineers to improve the scientific basis for Agency decisions. EPA supports this research through the Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, fellowships, and research contracts under the Agency’s Small Business Innovative Research Program.
    Learn more about Agency support for world-class research and innovation.

If you have any comments or questions about what I shared or about the week’s events, please submit them below in the comments section!

About the Author: Kacey Fitzpatrick is a student contractor and writer working with the science communication team in EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.