To assist with the goals of Project 3: Systems Approach to Define Toxicity of Complex PAH Mixtures, Dr. Robyn Tanguay has implemented precision robots to speed up screenings of zebrafish embryos at the Sinnhuber Aquatic Research Laboratory (SARL).  These robots are unique only to Oregon State University.

Tanguay’s research group investigates the health effects of pesticides and other environmental chemicals using zebrafish embryos. The researchers expose the zebrafish embryos to various chemicals and look for malformations. Understanding these effects on zebrafish embryos contributes to the knowledge of the chemicals’ potential to affect human health, particularly with regard to developmental pathways.

The video below entitled, The Robot’s Edge: Custom automation helps scientists screen environmental chemicals was produced by Larry Pribyl and Lee Sherman from OSU News and Research Communications. They appreciated the help from Chappell Miller and others in the Tanguay lab who contributed.

Other Recent SARL Stories

  • From Zebrafish to You: Popular aquarium fish provides a window on environmental chemicals (a story and podcast from Terra Magazine, July 2013)

The Community Engagement Core (CEC) engaged 27 Tribal members in three 90-minute focus group sessions to elicit feedback about tribal indicators of health, environmental health concerns, and the importance of smoked food as a cultural tradition. The findings were published in Environmental Justice.

Schure M, Kile ML, Harding AK, Harper B, Harris S, Uesugi S, Goins T. Perceptions of environment and health among community members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.  Environmental Justice. June 2013, 6(3): 115-120. doi:10.1089/env.2013.0022.

The CEC was also featured  in the NIEHS publication, Celebrating 25 Years of the Superfund Research Program for research on PAH exposures during traditional smoking of salmon with the CTUIR research. You can also view the Please view the 2011 report for more information.

 

Stuart Harris and Anna Harding in a tipi smoking salmon
Mr. Stuart Harris and Dr. Anna Harding sit in the tipi that is measuring the air quality when smoking salmon.

As part of our focus on PAHs, we sampled the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in air and water in the Gulf of Mexico related to the oil spill. The level of PAHs in crude oil varies between 0.2 and 7%, depending on location. Although this seems like a small percent, PAHs are a significant toxicological health concern.

Sampling was accomplished by the research staff of Project 4 using passive sampling devices (PSDs).

The Community Engagement Core (CEC) collaborated with the EHSC COEC to create PAH-related environmental health education that applies to the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill research of Project 4.

See the Gulf of Mexico Spill Main Page for videos, resources, and more details about the research using passive sampling devices.
OSU Deepwater Horizon Spill Research
Initial research crew in 2010 after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
Pictured left to right: Kevin Hobbie, Dr. Kim Anderson,
Sarah Allan, Lane Tidwell