One of the first studies to examine telomere length (TL) in childhood finds that the initial setting of TL during prenatal development and in the first years of life may determine one's TL throughout childhood and potentially even into adulthood or older age. The study also finds that TL decreases most rapidly from birth to age 3, followed by a period of maintenance into the pre-puberty period, although it was sometimes seen to lengthen.
Using a unique historical baseline (1983-2019), scientists have discovered dramatic changes in the chemistry and composition of Sargassum, floating brown seaweed, transforming this vibrant living organism into a toxic "dead zone." Results suggest that increased nitrogen availability from natural and anthropogenic sources, including sewage, is supporting blooms of Sargassum and turning a critical nursery habitat into harmful algal blooms with catastrophic impacts on coastal ecosystems, economies, and human health. Globally, harmful algal blooms are related to increased nutrient pollution.
Scientists are investigating whether rising global temperatures may lead to more stillbirths, saying further study is needed on the subject as climates change.
Micropollutants such as steroid hormones contaminate drinking water worldwide. Until now, easily scalable water treatment technologies that remove them efficiently and sustainably have been lacking. Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed a new chemical process for removing hormones. It takes advantage of the mechanisms of photocatalysis and transforms the pollutants into potentially safe oxidation products. The team reports on this in the scientific journal Applied Catalysis B: Environmental.
Women who were highly exposed to ultra-fine particles in air pollution during their pregnancy were more likely to have children who developed asthma, according to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine in May. This is the first time asthma has been linked with prenatal exposure to this type of air pollution, which is named for its tiny size and which is not regulated or routinely monitored in the United States.
The chemical bisphenol F (found in plastics) can induce changes in a gene that is vital for neurological development. This discovery was made by researchers at the universities of Uppsala and Karlstad, Sweden. The mechanism could explain why exposure to this chemical during the fetal stage may be connected with a lower IQ at seven years of age -- an association previously seen by the same research group. The study is published in the scientific journal Environment International.
In a study reported in the Japanese Journal of Ophthalmology researchers from Okayama University show that long hours in front of the television in children under 3 years of age lead to increased eyesight concerns during later years.
The study showed that interdisciplinary action facilitates weight loss, improves quality of life and eating behavior, and reduces symptoms of depression.
This is the first evidence that secondhand smoke during pregnancy correlates with changes in disease-related gene regulation in babies. These findings support the idea that many adult diseases have their origins in environmental exposures, such as stress, poor nutrition, pollution or tobacco smoke, during early development.
Chronic exposure to second-hand smoke results in lower body weight and cognitive impairments that more profoundly affects males, according to new research in mice led by Oregon Health & Science University. The research examined daily exposure of 62 mice over a period of 10 months. Researchers used a specially designed "smoking robot" that went through a pack of cigarettes a day in ventilated laboratory space at OHSU. The longest previous study of this kind lasted three months.