Green chemistry as leadership opportunity; BPA and behavioural abnormalities in mice; and more // October 2014 science digest #2 (non-human & policy)

October 16, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment

October 2014 Science Digest #2:
Non-Human and Policy Research

Green chemistry | Green Chemistry as a Leadership Opportunity for Toxicology: We Must Take the Wheel. Imagine how great it would be to be invited by Ferrari, Mercedes, or Tesla to help design their next new car. From the steering wheel to the engine, sound system, cup holders, and everything else, you would able to have everything just how you want it. Then you could have the best car builders in the world produce what you have helped them design. For a car enthusiast, it would perhaps be a dream come true, but what if you are not into cars? What if your interests lean more toward the scientific and you are more into, say, chemicals? (Tox Sci)

BPA, behavioural abnormalities | Bisphenol-A exposures and behavioural aberrations: Median and linear spline and meta-regression analyses of 12 toxicity studies in rodents. Exposures to bisphenol-A, a weak estrogenic chemical, largely used for the production of plastic containers, can affect the rodent behaviour. Thus, we examined the relationships between bisphenol-A and the anxiety-like behaviour, spatial skills, and aggressiveness, in 12 toxicity studies of rodent offspring from females orally exposed to bisphenol-A, while pregnant and/or lactating, by median and linear splines analyses. Overall, our study showed that developmental exposures to low-doses of bisphenol-A, e.g. ≤120μg/day, were associated to behavioural aberrations in offspring. (Toxicology)

Phthalates, diabetes | Phthalate exposure in utero causes epigenetic changes and impairs insulin signalling. These findings indicate that gestational DEHP exposure predisposes F1 offspring to glucometabolic dysfunction at adulthood by down-regulating the expression of critical genes involved in the insulin signalling pathway. Furthermore, DEHP-induced epigenetic alterations in Glut4 appear to play a significant role in disposition towards this metabolic abnormality. (J Endocrinol)

Epigenetics | The lure of the epigenome. The assertion that multiple mechanisms of inheritance exist, and that variation in genomic sequences alone cannot account for phenotypic differences, inevitably raises ontological concerns similar to those apparent in the days of Lamarck. If the gene is no longer understood as the fundamental force of human life and is not “part physicist’s atom and part Plato’s soul”, as the philosopher of science Evelyn Fox Keller put it, then the hoary problem of the relationship of nature and nurture must once again be confronted. (The Lancet)

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