BACKGROUND: 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) has a long half-life of 5-10 years in human beings as a result of its high lipophilicity, and little or no metabolism. We monitored TCDD, its form, distribution, and elimination in Victor Yushchenko after he presented with severe poisoning. METHODS: In late December, 2004, a patient presented with TCDD poisoning; the levels in his blood serum (108000 pg/g lipid weight) were more than 50 000-fold greater than those in the general population. We identified TCDD and its metabolites, and monitored their levels for 3 years using gas chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry in samples of blood serum, adipose tissue, faeces, skin, urine, and sweat, after they were extracted and cleaned with different organic solvents. FINDINGS: The amount of unmodified TCDD in the samples that were analysed accounted for about 60% of TCDD eliminated from the body during the same period. Two TCDD metabolites-2,3,7-trichloro-8-hydroxydibenzo-p-dioxin and 1,3,7,8-tetrachloro-2-hydroxydibenzo-p-dioxin-were identified in the faeces, blood serum, and urine. The faeces contained the highest concentration of TCDD metabolites, and were the main route of elimination. Altogether, the different routes of elimination of TCDD and its metabolites accounted for 98% of the loss of the toxin from the body. The half-life of TCDD in our patient was 15.4 months. INTERPRETATION: This case of poisoning with TCDD suggests that the design of methods for routine assessment of TCDD metabolites in human beings should be a main aim of TCDD research in the metabolomic era. FUNDING: University of Geneva Dermatology Fund, and Swiss Centre for Applied Human Toxicology.
Comment In: Lancet. 2009 Oct 3;374(9696):1131-219660808
The absorption of polychlorinated biphenyls, dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans was studied in four breast-fed infants. The absorption was measured by comparing the estimated total intake and the excretion in faeces, during 48 hours, at three different time points; 1, 2 and 3 months post parta. The levels of the analysed compounds in the human milk are typical for Sweden, i.e approximately 20 ppt toxic equivalents for the dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans and for the polychlorinated biphenyls approximately 16 ppt toxic equivalents. For most of the congeners the absorption is found to be over 95%. Higher excretion is noticed for heptachlorinated and octachlorinated dioxins.
Arctic shipping and oil exploration are expected to increase, as sea ice extent is reduced. This enhances the risk for accidental oil spills throughout the Arctic, which emphasises the need to quantify potential consequences to the marine ecosystem and to evaluate risk and choose appropriate remediation methods. This study investigated the sensitivity of Arctic marine plankton to the water accommodated fraction (WAF) of heavy fuel oil. Arctic marine phytoplankton and copepods (Calanus finmarchicus) were exposed to three WAF concentrations corresponding to total hydrocarbon contents of 0.07?mg?l-1, 0.28?mg?l-1 and 0.55?mg?l-1. Additionally, the potential phototoxic effects of exposing the WAF to sunlight, including the UV spectrum, were tested. The study determined sub-lethal effects of WAF exposure on rates of key ecosystem processes: primary production of phytoplankton and grazing (faecal pellet production) of copepods. Both phytoplankton and copepods responded negatively to WAF exposure. Biomass specific primary production was reduced by 6, 52 and 73% and faecal pellet production by 18, 51 and 86% with increasing WAF concentrations compared to controls. The phototoxic effect reduced primary production in the two highest WAF concentration treatments by 71 and 91%, respectively. This experiment contributes to the limited knowledge of acute sub-lethal effects of potential oil spills to the Arctic pelagic food web.
The intestinal flora is considered to have an impact on the development of the immune system. In the anthroposophic lifestyle, a diet comprising vegetables spontaneously fermented by lactobacilli, and a restrictive use of antibiotics, anti-pyretics and vaccinations, is typical. The aim of this study was to assess the gut flora in infants in relation to certain lifestyle characteristics associated with anthroposophy. Sixty-nine children
Although the cultural and nutritive importance of the turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) to precontact Native Americans and contemporary people worldwide is clear, little is known about the domestication of this bird compared to other domesticates. Mitochondrial DNA analysis of 149 turkey bones and 29 coprolites from 38 archaeological sites (200 BC-AD 1800) reveals a unique domesticated breed in the precontact Southwestern United States. Phylogeographic analyses indicate that this domestic breed originated from outside the region, but rules out the South Mexican domestic turkey (Meleagris gallopavo gallopavo) as a progenitor. A strong genetic bottleneck within the Southwest turkeys also reflects intensive human selection and breeding. This study points to at least two occurrences of turkey domestication in precontact North America and illuminates the intensity and sophistication of New World animal breeding practices.
Cites: Mol Ecol. 2002 Apr;11(4):643-5711972754
Cites: Bioinformatics. 2003 Aug 12;19(12):1572-412912839
During both winter and summer, Svalbard reindeer selectively feed on different types of vegetation that are not only a source of nutritional value, but also a place of heavy metal accumulation. In the present study, the content of cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, nickel, manganese, and zinc in reindeer excrement was measured. The main aims were to determine the seasonal content of several heavy metals in Svalbard reindeer faeces, and to compare their values in terms of dietary preferences during the year. Summer and winter reindeer excrement was gathered along a designated linear transect running through Bolterdalen and the vegetation described on 1 m2 plots. All of the analysed heavy metals were detected in the reindeer faeces and this fact seems to be connected with the incomplete content of these elements in an animal's tissue after forage digestion. Analysis showed differences between summer and winter excrement in terms of concentrations of cadmium, chromium, iron, and nickel, but no differences were found for the other four elements analysed (manganese, lead, zinc, and copper). However, concentrations of heavy metals in faeces are rather low in comparison with both the levels in the vegetation that may be grazed by reindeer and in reindeer tissue.
Nitrogen and mineral (Fe, Mg, Na, K, and Ca) compositions of foodstuffs consumed by and dung produced by male, pregnant and lactating female adult Icelandic reindeer and calves were determined during May of 1992. Iron levels in foodstuffs are consistently above the reported toxicity level for similar-sized sheep (0.5 ppt) and may lead to iron toxicity when consumed by reindeer during periods of high lean body mass catabolism. Male and female reindeer meet nutrient requirements for all measured elements and nitrogen with the possible exception of calcium for males during antler growth.
According to examination, with the help of emission spectrum analysis method, of 24 cadets-athletes of different specialization it was determined that during physical exercise in summer and in winter loss of ferrum and copper with excrements exceeded the intake if these microelements with food. The next day rise of impaction of microelements and decrease of excretion. But despite the positive balance of ferrum and copper, spend of these microelements during physical exercise wasn't compensated for the day of rest. That is why there is a possibility of microelement deficit.
We studied bred and unbred female reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) during 12 wk of winter when ambient temperatures were low and nitrogen (N) demand for fetal growth is highest in pregnant females. Animals were fed a complete pelleted diet ad lib. that contained 2.54% N in dry matter that was 80% +/- 2% (X +/- SD) digestible. Female reindeer lost 64% +/- 14% of body fat but gained 34% +/- 11% of lean mass from 10 wk prepartum to parturition. These changes were equivalent to average balances of -14.14 +/- 2.35 MJ d(-1) and 10 +/- 3 g N d(-1). Blood cells, serum, and urine declined in (15)N/(14)N in late winter as body protein was gained from the diet. Blood cells of newborn calves were more enriched in (15)N and (13)C than that of their mothers, indicating the deposition of fetal protein from maternal stores. To quantify pathways of N flow in reindeer, N balance was measured by confining animals to cages for 10 d at 4 wk from parturition. N balance was inversely related to (15)N/(14)N in urea-N but not related to (15)N/(14)N of blood cells, creatinine, and feces. The proportion of urea-N derived from body protein increased above 0.46 as N balance fell below -200 mg N kg(-0.75) d(-1). Proportions of urea-N from body protein were -0.01 +/- 0.21 in pregnant females before and after caging and were consistent with average body protein gain in winter. Storage of protein allows reindeer and caribou to tolerate diets that are low in N without impairing fetal development.
We report an outbreak of botulism that occurred in July 2002 in a group of 12 Alaskan Yu'pik Eskimos who ate blubber and skin from a beached beluga whale. Botulism death rates among Alaska Natives have declined in the last 20 years, yet incidence has increased.