SETAC MultiBrief
Jul. 9, 2015

POPs and gut microbiota: Dietary exposure alters ratio of bacterial species
Environmental Health Perspectives
Persistent organic pollutants have been implicated in myriad human health problems, including cancer, neurologic, immunologic and reproductive defects, among many other adverse health effects. New lines of research suggest that chronic dietary exposure to POPs may also contribute to obesity and type 2 diabetes. In this issue of EHP, researchers examine how one POP in particular — 2,3,7,8 tetrachlorodibenzofuran (TCDF) — affects the composition of the mouse gut microbiome. They report that TCDF exposure alters the gut microbiome in ways that may prove to contribute to obesity and other metabolic diseases.More

Why we're so scared of GMOs, according to someone who has studied them since the start
The Washington Post
When Chipotle announced earlier this year that it would no longer serve food made with genetically modified organisms due to safety concerns, customers rejoiced. But there was one big problem: Just as more Americans grow wary of GMOs, the scientific community is moving in the opposite direction. There is now near unanimity among scientists that GMOs are safe to eat. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association have all said that GMOs are fine for consumption. More

How the EPA puts a price tag on pollution
Wired
What's a healthy baby worth? A pristine lake? How about the market value of an IQ point? Some people might say it's impossible to put a price tag on such things. But the Environmental Protection Agency has been doing it for decades, proving that it is possible — though also very difficult to do in a way that pleases everyone.More

Stream restoration: Ecological repair could take 25-plus years
Nature World News
Learning the science of stream restoration is an ongoing project. In 2009, for instance, the National Science Foundation helped fund a project in which University of California at Berkeley researchers built an artificial river bed for learning purposes. The NSF release commented, "Stream restoration is an extremely complex and delicate science. Because there is no formula to create meandering streams. Successful stream restorers almost require a sixth sense to get everything right and set a sustainable environment into motion, and not every restored stream lasts." More

Pink salmon struggle as freshwater becomes acidic
ClimateWire via Scientific American
Pink salmon are providing researchers with sobering hints to how carbon dioxide-induced acidity could affect freshwater fish species by the end of the 21st century. A study published in Nature Climate Change showed that early exposure to high levels of CO2 during the larval stage of development had significant negative effects on the fish's size, metabolism and ability to sense threats in their environment. More

A scientific ethical divide between China and the West
The New York Times
China is spending hundreds of billions of dollars annually in an effort to become a leader in biomedical research, building scores of laboratories and training thousands of scientists. But the rush to the front ranks of science may come at a price: Some experts worry that medical researchers in China are stepping over ethical boundaries long accepted in the West. More

Fluorinated chemicals need stricter control
CMAJ
Scientists at Environment Canada went public in a rare interview to confirm that they largely agree with a statement signed by more than 200 scientists worldwide that warns about health risks from a family of 150 or more fluorinated chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which are widely used as stain and water repellents. PFASs came to international attention as environmental and human health hazards in large part because of the work of Canadian scientists that began over a decade ago. More

Flooding could spread invasive zebra mussels
KXAS-TV
Experts fear the recent floods and subsequent release of water from several North Texas lakes could mean the spread of zebra mussels to new spots they had not yet reached. Denton County Game Warden Stormy McCuiston said it's likely an inevitability in his mind. "The zebra mussels are going to thrive and they're going to thrive in places we don't have them," said McCuiston. To prevent flood waters from causing major property damage, leaders with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continue to release waters from some lakes and see it spill over others as they try to return levels to normal.More