Navigation Links
Waterborne carbon increases threat of environmental mercury
Date:12/10/2007

MADISON - Mercury is a potent neurotoxin and a worrisome environmental contaminant, but the severity of its threat appears to depend on what else is in the water.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found that the presence of dissolved organic material increases the biological risk of aqueous mercury and may even serve as an environmental mercury source.

Mercury is present throughout the environment in small quantities in rocks and in watery environments, including lakes, wetlands and oceans. It accumulates in fish living in mercury-contaminated waters, posing a health risk to animals and humans who eat the tainted fish.

The greatest threat comes from a form called methylmercury, which is more easily taken up by living tissues. The methylation process, therefore, is key to understanding the potential danger posed by environmental mercury, says UW-Madison geomicrobiologist John Moreau.

He presented his research findings at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco today (Dec. 10).

Environmental mercury is predominantly methylated by naturally occurring bacteria known as sulfate-reducing bacteria. These bacteria - Moreau calls them "little methylmercury factories" - absorb inorganic mercury from the water, methylate it and spit methylmercury back out into the environment.

"The bacteria take mercury from a form that is less toxic to humans and turn it into a form that is much more toxic," Moreau says. "[Methylation] increases mercury's toxicity by essentially putting it on a fast train into your tissue - it increases its mobility."

Many previous studies have focused on the chemical interactions between mercury and sulfur, which is known to bind to inorganic mercury and may regulate how well the bacteria can absorb it. However, scientists do not understand the factors that control the methylation process itself.

"Those studies have related methylation poten
'/>"/>

Contact: John Moreau
moreau@geology.wisc.edu
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
2. Mice use specialized neurons to detect carbon dioxide in the air
3. Researchers find new taste in fruit flies: carbonated water
4. Studying component parts of living cells with carbon nanotube cellular probes
5. New membrane strips carbon dioxide from natural gas faster and better
6. Green alga genome project catalogs carbon capture machinery
7. Hungry microbes share out the carbon in the roots of plants
8. Decline in uptake of carbon emissions confirmed
9. Study reveals that nitrogen fertilizers deplete soil organic carbon
10. US fires release large amounts of carbon dioxide
11. Wildfire drives carbon levels in northern forests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/21/2014)... , Nov. 20, 2014 Strict laws ... efficiency are piloting the North American and European automotive ... accidents growing, gesture recognition systems that are intuitive and ... mark in the industry. New analysis ... Gesture Recognition Market in Europe ...
(Date:11/18/2014)... 2014 The Parenteral Drug Association (PDA) today confirmed ... speak and at least seven more will participate in the ... Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. , Dec. ... significant support from the regulatory agencies in the ... in our effort to help advance the use of metrics ...
(Date:11/10/2014)... Laundry detergent pods began appearing on U.S. store shelves ... growing numbers ever since. The small packets can be ... measure out a liquid or powder. The convenience, though, ... new study from researchers at Nationwide Children,s Hospital found ... received reports of 17,230 children younger than 6 years ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Gesture Recognition Intensifies with the Rise of In-car Smartphone Integration, Says Frost & Sullivan 2Gesture Recognition Intensifies with the Rise of In-car Smartphone Integration, Says Frost & Sullivan 3Gesture Recognition Intensifies with the Rise of In-car Smartphone Integration, Says Frost & Sullivan 4FDA's Janet Woodcock, EMA's Emer Cooke Headline PDA Quality Metrics Conference 2Study finds laundry detergent pods, serious poisoning risk for children 2
... delivers new insight about rapid toxin evolution in venomous snakes: ... race with opossums, a group of snake-eating American marsupials. Although ... this fact has not been factored into previous explanations for ... usually seen as a feeding, or trophic, adaptation. But new ...
... contrast agents that sneak into bacteria disguised as glucose ... sensitivity and specificity. These agents -- called maltodextrin-based imaging ... other inflammatory conditions. "These contrast agents fill the ... of bacteria in vivo and distinguish infections from other ...
... 18, 2011) Researchers from the John Theurer Cancer ... 14 cancer-related studies during the recently concluded American Society ... June 3 7, 2011 in Chicago. The studies ... treatment outcomes, and patient quality of life issues. ...
Cached Biology News:Rapid venom evolution in pit vipers may be defensive 2Rapid venom evolution in pit vipers may be defensive 3New contrast agents detect bacterial infections with high sensitivity and specificity 2New contrast agents detect bacterial infections with high sensitivity and specificity 3John Theurer Cancer Center researchers shared 14 leading edge studies at recent ASCO meeting 2John Theurer Cancer Center researchers shared 14 leading edge studies at recent ASCO meeting 3John Theurer Cancer Center researchers shared 14 leading edge studies at recent ASCO meeting 4John Theurer Cancer Center researchers shared 14 leading edge studies at recent ASCO meeting 5John Theurer Cancer Center researchers shared 14 leading edge studies at recent ASCO meeting 6
(Date:11/26/2014)... , Nov. 26, 2014 The ... from a survey of European physicians at the ... Innovation and Biological Therapies" at the Spanish Ministry ... hosted by EuropaBio and the Spanish Bioindustry Association ... Health, physicians from Spanish oncology and rheumatology societies, ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... November 25, 2014 SonaCare Medical, ... Ultrasound (HIFU) devices, recently participated in the American ... Mass 360° .” Key opinion leaders in urology ... related to small renal masses while attendees had ... ablative technologies in hands-on labs. Attendees at the ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... Miles Holder, formerly of Micron Research ... Products team as Sales/Marketing Manager. Mr. Holder has over ... for the graphite industry. , “We are thrilled to ... Dave Trinkley, VP of Market and Product Development for ... in the graphite industry, along with his proven track ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... -- Bio-Techne Corporation (NASDAQ: TECH ) announced ... to serve in a newly created position of Senior ... will be responsible for managing the operations of Bio-Techne,s ... acquired in July 2014 and the recently acquired CyVek ... -based ProteinSimple develops and commercializes proprietary systems and consumables ...
Breaking Biology Technology:ASBM Presents European Physicians Survey at Spanish Ministry of Health 2SonaCare Medical Supports American Urology Association’s Small Renal Mass 360° Summit 2SonaCare Medical Supports American Urology Association’s Small Renal Mass 360° Summit 3Miles Holder Joins Graphel Corporation as Sales/Marketing Manager 2Bio?Techne Announces Appointment Of Robert Gavin As Leader Of New Protein Platforms Division 2Bio?Techne Announces Appointment Of Robert Gavin As Leader Of New Protein Platforms Division 3
... Calif., Dec. 5, 2011 OvaGene Oncology Inc., ... and commercialization of personalized gene-based diagnostics for gynecologic ... major Licensing and Collaboration Agreement with The Moffitt ... Comprehensive Cancer Center in Florida.  The agreement provides ...
... REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Dec. 5, 2011 Codexis, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... has been named Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.  ... for the company,s corporate marketing and communications.  He will ... Officer. Mr. Bolsen is a widely recognized ...
... 2011  Immune Design Corp. announced today that Wayne ... new Chief Development Officer.  Dr. Gombotz brings a ... key leadership position at Immune Design.  He will ... therapeutic vaccine product candidates. (Logo: ...
Cached Biology Technology:OvaGene Oncology Collaborates With Moffitt Cancer Center to Develop and Commercialize microRNAs Associated With Chemotherapeutic Drug Response 2OvaGene Oncology Collaborates With Moffitt Cancer Center to Develop and Commercialize microRNAs Associated With Chemotherapeutic Drug Response 3Codexis Names Wes Bolsen VP and Chief Marketing Officer 2Immune Design Corp. Appoints Wayne R. Gombotz, Ph.D. as Chief Development Officer 2