Friday, April 27, 2007

ETOX Students Compete in 187 Mile Ragnar Relay

On March 30-31 2007, current ETOX students Yong Jiang, Catherine Gibbons, Kelly Thrippleton and Mary Ann Rempel and former ETOX student Bjarte Furnes joined fellow graduate students from the UCR campus to form team UCR Tail Ends and compete in the Ragnar Relay Del Sol. The Del Sol is a 187-mile footrace that winds through the beautiful Sonoran desert in Arizona, beginning in Wickenburg and ending in Scottsdale. Despite losing one team member hours before the race, an extreme lack of sleep and minor injuries the team finished well ahead of their projected time. They finished in 27 hours and 10 minutes, placing a respectable 14th out of 32 in their division. All had a great time.

Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Nillos and Rempel Win Awards at Local SETAC Meeting

Mae Nillos was selected for the best student poster presentation, and Mary Ann Rempel won best student platform presentation at the recent meeting of the Southern California SETAC chapter. The conference was held on April 9-10 at Lake Arrowhead. Mae and Mary Ann beat out students from UCLA, UC Berkeley, Cal State Long Beach, and Loyola Marymount for the awards. Mae's poster was titled "Investigation of the enantioselective endocrine disruption effects of synthetic pyrethroids." Mary Ann's talk was titled "Uptake of estradiol from sediment by hornyhead turbot (Pleurnichthys verticalis) and effects on oxidative DNA damage in male gonads."

Congratulations to both Mae and Mary Ann for their excellent work.

In the News

From Carl Cranor in Chemical and Engineering News

Taking a broader look at human exposure to substances in the environment, Carl Cranor, philosophy professor at the University of California, Riverside, observed: "It is arguable that the current moral basis for legally regulating exposure to toxic substances is problematic." First, he explained, the current harm-based, or risk-of-harm-based, legal structure does not work well enough. Firms proposing to manufacture a new chemical, other than a pharmaceutical or pesticide, are required to submit only what they know about the product to EPA, he said, and for many new chemicals, the firms have no toxicity information.

And even if the legal structure could be made to work better with sufficient political will, there would still be a moral concern about the basis for current regulations, Cranor continued. "Because most substances are subject to postmarket regulation, the existing legal structure results in involuntary experiments on citizens. The bodies of the citizenry are invaded and trespassed on by commercial substances, arguably a moral wrong," he said. "If we were to recognize that chemical invasion is a wrong," then we could authorize actions—especially testing—to prevent additional wrongs, he said. "We can gain greater sovereignty over our bodies by requiring no trespass without testing."

To see the full article, click here.

Roger Atkinson was quoted in Live Science.
"It's been known for a long time that E85 is not the cleanest fuel in the world."
Roger Atkinson, director of the Air Pollution Research Center, on the results of a study that found that fuels high in ethanol may pose an equal or greater public health risk than regular gasoline.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

ETOX Program well represented at the UC Toxics Meeting in Santa Cruz

The UCR Environmental Toxicology Program was well represented at the 20th anniversary meeting of the UC Toxics Substances Research and Teaching Program which was held April 20-21 at the Chaminade Hotel in Santa Cruz. Wendy Hwang-Verslues gave one of the invited platform presentations as well as presented a poster. Cary Coburn, Haizheng Hong, Wanyoike Kang'ethe, Mae Nillos, Noriko Nishino, and Lin Wang (recent graduate) presented posters. Various pictures from the meeting are posted below.

Click on any of the photos above to see an enlarged image.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cynthia Larive to receive ACS award

Our congratulations to Cynthia Larive who has been selected to receive the 2007 J. Calvin Giddings Award for Excellence in Education from the American Chemical Society. Click on the image for more information or go the the UCR newsroom website.

Update from Wesley Hunter in Denmark

Wesley Hunter is currently in Denmark working at the Danish National Environmental Research Institute in Roskilde. He hopes to use this time to become familiar with the techniques used to measoure freely dissolved pore water concentrations, and to help with a project using a solid-phase microextraction automated sampler to measure chemical activities of semivolatile organic contaminants in sediment. He plans to be there until the end of May. Apparently things are going well and he is learning a lot. Sounds like a great opportunity and we wish him success.