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Occupational and environmental health

Perceptive Instruments were proud to sponsor the International Conference on Occupational and Environmental Health 2011 earlier this month in Porto, Portugal. 

At this international conference, many aspects of the field of occupational & environmental health were discussed, such as, human biomonitoring, metals as environmental pollutants, natural and accidental environmental pollutants, toxins immunotoxicity & susceptibility biomarkers, genetic & environmental toxicology, and air pollution & health.  In addition, there were several sessions dedicated to the field of nanoparticles and nanomaterials: human exposure to nanoparticles, genotoxicity of nanoparticles, and the applications & ecotoxicity of nanomaterials.  A suite of genetic toxicological experiments are required for robust investigations into aspects of occupational and environmental health, and the comet assay is often chosen as an experimental technique.

The genotoxicity of nanoparticles was discussed by several scientists in their posters and oral presentations.  It was reported that the comet assay is an appropriate experimental procedure to undertake, but it is important to note that any DNA-damage response by cells to nanoparticles is dependent upon concentration, exposure time and cell type.  Therefore, it is of great importance that the correct controls be used for each and every investigation wishing to use the comet assay as a tool for measuring the genotoxicity of nanoparticles. 

Interesting aspects of the comet assay experimental design were discussed at the ICOEH 2011, such as which is the most appropriate parameter to define comet assay data: tail length, tail moment or tail intensity?  Fortunately, Comet Assay IV has the ability to report upon all of these measurements and the user is able to decide how to display their comet assay data.

This conference coincided with the NanoLINEN Workshop – “Biomarkers & Human Exposure to Nanoparticles.”  NanoLINEN (NANOtoxicology Link between INdian and European Nations) is a consortium financed by the New-INDIGO Networking Pilot Programme between seven European countries and India, established to focus on the emerging field of potential adverse health effects of the widely use of nanotechnology. The main aim of the NanoLINEN is setting up a strong link over EU and India to create future collaborations on the nanotoxicology field.

The Comet Assay IV software was demonstrated to specialists from all over the world working within the research field of occupational & environmental health.  In addition, several presentations quoted the use of Comet Assay IV during their genotoxicity investigations.