Navigation Links
Geoscientists follow arsenic from chicken feed to streambeds

What happened to the chicken when she crossed the road is less important that what happens to what she eats when it is used as fertilizer.

Organic arsenic is fed to poultry to prevent bacterial infections and improve weight gain. A little bit of arsenic is taken up by the tissue and the majority of it is excreted in urine. Poultry litter -- the wood chips, feathers, droppings, and urine from under poultry houses -- is rich in nitrogen and phosphorous, so is a logical fertilizer. But what happens to that arsenic?

Virginia Tech geoscientists are determining what happens to such feed additives when they are part of the manure applied to agricultural fields. They will present their research at the Geological Society of America national meeting in Salt Lake City Oct. 16-19.

In research funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Madeline Schreiber, associate professor of geosciences at Virginia Tech, carried out field and laboratory studies to discover the fate of arsenic fed to poultry. She and her graduate students found that bacteria in the litter and in shallow subsurface soil transform organic arsenic to inorganic arsenic. Organic arsenic is not highly toxic to humans, but inorganic arsenic, with its organic component removed, is toxic.

"We found that organic arsenic is highly soluble in water and is rapidly biotransformed to inorganic arsenic," Schreiber said. Despite laboratory findings that show a strong adsorption of inorganic arsenic to minerals in the soils and aquifer sediments, a surprising finding from water samples from streams receiving runoff is that low concentrations of arsenic are transported to streambeds instead of being retained by the aquifers, Schreiber said. "We think that the arsenic is adsorbed onto nanoscale particles that pass though our filters and through the soil column," said Schreiber. "This suggests that particle transport is an important mechanism in arsenic cycling in these watersheds."

Gradua te student Mary Harvey is currently studying the adsorption potential for organic arsenic to iron oxides and clay minerals. Although much of the organic arsenic is biotransformed to inorganic arsenic before it reaches the aquifer, rapid flushing of organic arsenic in to the subsurface during storm events introduces organic arsenic to the subsurface; thus, understanding its adsorption is important.

Schreiber emphasized, "All of the arsenic concentrations we are finding at our field site are below the drinking water standards, even below the new standards of 10 parts per billion, which will come into effect in February 2006."

Schreiber is now collaborating with microbiologist John Stolz of Duquesne University, and expert on bacteria that transform arsenic. Schreiber and Stolz are looking at bacteria present in the litter and soil and the conditions under which biotransformation occurs.

Schreiber will deliver her paper, "Arsenic cycling in agricultural watersheds: The role of particles," at 3:10 p.m. at the Salt Palace Convention Center, room 250 DE. Harvey will present "Adsorption characteristics of roxarsone, an organoarsenic poultry feed additive," following Schreiber's talk. Co-authors with Harvey are Schreiber and Professor Christopher Tadanier, Research Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences at Virginia Tech.


'"/>

Source:Virginia Tech


Related biology news :

1. Shorter colds, milder flu may follow from newly revealed immune mechanism
2. Study: Paramedics save more lives when they dont follow the rules
3. Evolution follows few of the possible paths to antibiotic resistance
4. Use of amino acid supplement following a heart attack provides no benefit, may be harmful
5. Cell death following blood reflow injury tracked to natural toxin
6. Long-term cancer risk follows stem cell transplant recipients
7. High levels of blindness in southern Sudan following years of war
8. History-hunting geneticists can still follow familiar trail
9. PNAS study reveals why organs fail following massive trauma
10. Imaging techniques permit scientists to follow a day -- or four -- in the life of a cell
11. Palaus coral reefs show differential habitat recovery following the 1998 bleaching event
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/20/2016)...  VoiceIt is excited to announce its new ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will offer ... take slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, collaboration ... usability. Both ... "This marketing and technology partnership allows ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... , UAE, May 9, 2016 ... when it comes to expanding freedom for high net ... Even in today,s globally connected world, there is ... conferencing system could ever duplicate sealing your deal with ... obtaining second passports by taking advantage of citizenship via ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 2016 First quarter 2016:   ... with the first quarter of 2015 The gross margin ... (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) ... Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for 2016 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the creation of ... company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the Company"), ... portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment ... represent an exciting class of therapies, possessing the ... cancer patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university ... to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning ... New York City . ... showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the ... MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ... clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. ... multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess the ... subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... as a single dose (ranging from 45 to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Regulatory ... technical consulting, provides a free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: Getting ... at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a major ...
Breaking Biology Technology: