The value of chief scientific advisers, EDC mixtures and prostate problems, and more // Nov 2014 science update #2

November 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment
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November 2014 Science Digest #2:
Non-Human and Policy Research

Science policy | What Role for a Chief Scientist in the European Union System of Scientific Advice? At a time of increasing recognition worldwide of the role of chief science advisers as of critical importance in improving dialogue between science and policy, the European Union is currently considering the role which science advisers should play in European policy. After contextualizing this debate within the broader efforts undertaken by the Barroso Commission to strengthen science in EU policymaking, this article discusses what role, if any, a chief scientist may play within the EU system of scientific advice.

BPA, cardiovascular disease | Bisphenol A Exposure Enhances Atherosclerosis in WHHL Rabbits. Incidents of coronary stenosis increased by 11% and smooth muscle cells increased by 73% in the exposed group (400mcg/kgbw/d) compared to the vehicle group. Furthermore, BPA-treated WHHL rabbits showed increased adipose accumulation and hepatic and myocardial injuries accompanied by up-regulation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and inflammatory and lipid metabolism markers in livers.

Mixtures, prostate cancer | Perinatal exposure to mixtures of anti-androgenic chemicals causes proliferative lesions in rat prostate. Mixtures of endocrine disrupters relevant for human exposure was found to elicit persistent effects on the rat prostate following perinatal exposure, suggesting that human perinatal exposure to environmental chemicals may increase the risk of prostate cancer later in life.

Mixtures, risk assessment | Brain drain: the cost of neglected responsibilities in evaluating cumulative effects of environmental chemicals. The laws regulating the safety of additives already require that regulators in Europe and the USA consider cumulative effects; so far, they seem to have neglected the mandate. We must move beyond treating chemical exposures as isolated incidents and look at their cumulative biological effects on organs and their role in the onset of chronic diseases.

Research methods | The Navigation Guide: Systematic Review for the Environmental Health Sciences. For decades the field of clinical science has used systematic review methods to integrate research findings and present the results in a consistent and unbiased manner to support health-protective recommendations. An interdisciplinary team of clinical and environmental health scientists has now adopted principles of systematic review and applied them to the environmental health sciences in a framework called the “Navigation Guide”.

Phthalates, diabetes | Gestational exposure to di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) impairs pancreatic β-cell function in F1 rat offspring. In this study, global DNA methylation level was increased while the expression of genes involved in the development and function of β-cells were down-regulated in DEHP exposed groups. The authors conclude that gestational exposure to DEHP favours β-cell dysfunction and whole-body glucometabolic abnormalities in the F1 offspring.

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