Tag Archives: arsenic

Reducing arsenic in food chain

Soil may harbor answer to reducing arsenic in rice

Harsh Bais and Janine Sherrier of the University of Delaware’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences are studying whether a naturally occurring soil bacterium, referred to asUD1023 because it was first characterized at the University, can create an iron barrier in rice roots that reduces arsenic uptake.

Rice, grown as a staple food for a large portion of the world’s population, absorbs arsenic from the environment and transfers it to the grain. Arsenic is classified as a poison by the National Institutes of Health and is considered a carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program. (more…)

Read More

Interview with Dr. Anwar Zahid: ‘Environmental Issues in Bangladesh’

Dr. Anwar Zahid has been working in the field of hydrogeology, groundwater model and environmental geology for more than 17 years. Currently he is the Deputy Director of Ground Water Hydrology, Bangladesh Water Development Board and also Deputy Project Director of coastal water resources assessment project of the Bangladesh Government. Dr. Zahid is involved in many research activities in his fields of expertise in collaboration with national and international institutions and universities and 35 of his research papers has been published in reputed journals and books. He is a research fellow of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and visited 18 countries in connection with research and academic activities.

Recently we spoke with Dr. Zahid to discuss issues related to major environmental problems in Bangladesh, how climate change can affect the country’s coastal areas. Moreover, to know if there is any government initiative to cope with the rising sea-level.

Q: What are the major environmental problems in Bangladesh?

Dr. Zahid: Bangladesh is a disaster-prone country and almost every year, the country experiences disasters like tropical cyclones, storm surges, coastal erosion, floods, droughts and saline water encroachment in the coast. Because of its geographic location and low lying topographic condition, Bangladesh is likely to be in extreme vulnerable conditions under the current scenario of changing climatic conditions. Especially the low lying coastal area is at maximum risk. Groundwater is the major source of fresh water across much of the country but there has been very little study on the potential effects of development stresses and climate change on this resource. All components of the system e.g. recharge, discharge, storage and quality can be affected by changes in both climate and population stresses. (more…)

Read More

Lighting the Way to a Fast, Low-power Optical Transistor

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — There has been enormous progress in recent years toward the ability to use light beams instead of, or together with, electrons in computers. Now, researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) — a University of Maryland-based collaboration between UMD and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology — have developed a light-based switch that is a major advance toward the creation of an optical equivalent of the transistor, the centerpiece of most electronic gear.

UMD and JQI scientist Ranojoy Bose, says their new optical switch is not quite an optical transistor yet, but that their new results — which will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Physical Review Letters
— represent a great start toward creating a usable ultrafast, low-energy on-chip signal router. “Our paper shows that switching can be achieved physically by using only 6 photons of energy, which is completely unprecedented. This is the achievement of fundamental physical milestonessub-100-aJ switching and switching near the single photon level,” Bose says (more…)

Read More

Researchers Study Toenails as Marker for Arsenic Exposure

*UA scientists have teamed up to study the relationship between arsenic in human toenails and arsenic concentration in drinking water. Exposure to arsenic is associated with several chronic diseases ranging from dermatitis to various cancers.*

Scientists from the University of Arizona specializing in environmental health sciences and pharmacology and toxicology have teamed up with the help of a seed grant to study the relationship between arsenic in human toenails and arsenic concentration in drinking water.

Arsenic exposure in Arizona is a concern because of naturally occurring contamination of groundwater, said Miranda Loh, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. (more…)

Read More

Arsenic, Vitamin A, and blood cancer

Arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh and West Bengal (India) drinking water is a well-known issue in the last many years. Arsenic is a poisonous metalloid that naturally occurs in soils, and is soluble in water.

(more…)

Read More

Arsenic in the park and phytoremediation

When the U.S Geological Survey geographer Terry Slonecker was going through aerial photographs, he could easily detect the stress and stunted growth of trees and grass in the park in Washington that led him to conclude its arsenic. He was in fact looking for arsenic in a nearby area used for military activities in World War I. But the park has no history of WWI activities rather it goes back to the American Civil War which occurred between 1861 to 1865. But how it could leave arsenic there?

(more…)

Read More