This Week in EPA Science

By Kacey Fitzpatrick

Research 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.

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