How a polluted environment can lead to illness

A study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics revealed alarming findings: A link between children diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and traces of the breakdown of organophosphate pesticides in their urine. Specifically, the higher the concentration of metabolized pesticides like dimethyl alkylphosphate the researchers found in a participant’s urine, the more likely he or she met the criteria for an...

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Water pollution turns microbes virulent

An idyllic lake turns threatening when heavy rainfall causes a sewage treatment plant to overflow. Within 24 hours, once-benign microbes turn into virulent pathogens, breeding incessantly and attacking the embryos of lake fish. As much as that may sound like the synopsis of a movie on Mystery Science Theater, this is an impact on lake ecosystems that is actually occurring. It is widely accepted that nutrient enrichment and pollution...

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Tracking the ecological impact of nanotechnology

Scientists are still uncovering the potential uses for nanotechnology. Just this month, researchers have reported on nanotechnology’s potential to eradicate cancer cells and blood diseases, desalinate seawater on the go and convert environmental energy waste to hydrogen fuel. With new research arising daily, it seems nanotechnology could have many applications in medicine and alternative energy. Take, for example, the recent...

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Nutrient enrichment linked to diseases in humans and wildlife

Scientists have provided a rather grim prognosis for global health: the recent increase in nutrient enrichment due to human activities, such as nitrogen pollution through fossil fuel combustion, is likely contributing to several varieties of infectious diseases in humans and wildlife. Lead author Pieter Johnson from the University of Colorado and colleagues referenced several studies showing the links—both direct and indirect—between...

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Pollutants melting out of glaciers, into lakes

A mountain lake in Glacier National Park, Montana. Organic pollutants have been on the decline in most natural areas in recent years, due to stricter regulations and improvements to products including the contaminants, such as certain pesticides. But a new study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology shows that these pollutants are showing a spike in some natural lakes, regardless of their tighter restrictions in the...

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