December 15, 2017
Northeast Public Radio recently interviewed Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences Alicia Timme-Laragy for its “Midday Magazine” program. Timme-Laragy discussed her recent $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to study the health effects of environmental pollutants, perfluoro-octanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and its recent replacement chemical, perfluoro-butanesulfonic (PFBS). “There are reports of PFOS being transferred from the mother into the egg,“ Timme-Laragy explains. And so part of what we’re trying to figure out is are these effects on the developing pancreas, which is your major nutrient-sensing organ, and is related to metabolic syndrome and diabetes and all of these health effects, is that disruption coming from exposure to PFOS itself or is it more of a nutrient alteration ?”
Timme-Lagary plans to assess the effects on nutrient deposition in the embryos of three different organisms – zebrafish, roundworms, and fruit flies - with exposure before conception, as well as consequences for later-life metabolic dysfunction. If the same thing occurs in all three organisms, it will give scientists some confidence that there is relevance for human health.