Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Free Radical Link Suggested Between Pollution And Asthma

Date:
May 5, 2008
Source:
University of Melbourne
Summary:
Free radical pollution in the air could be a cause of asthma. Chemists have discovered that the atmospheric nitrate radical irreversibly damages amino acids, which are the building blocks for proteins in the human body. This, they suggest, could be a cause of some respiratory diseases.

Free radical pollution in the air could be a cause of asthma, suggests Ms Duanne Sigmund, based at the University of Melbourne with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology.

Related Articles


In new research Ms Sigmund and Dr Uta Wille, both chemists at the University of Melbourne, have discovered that the atmospheric nitrate radical irreversibly damages amino acids, which are the building blocks for proteins in the human body. This, they suggest, could be a cause of some respiratory diseases.

The nitrate radical is formed by two common atmospheric pollutants; nitrogen dioxide, which itself is emitted from car exhausts, and ozone, which is an important greenhouse gas that is harmful to humans. During the day the sun’s UV radiation breaks down the nitrate radicals, but the concentrations rise as soon as the sun goes down.

"We were very interested to see what these nitrate radicals do to the human body since we breath them in at night," says Sigmund.

The duo have found that the nitrate radical reacts with amino acids to form compounds such as beta-nitrate esters, beta-carbonyl, and aromatic nitro-compounds. Some of these compounds have been associated with increased immune response in some respiratory diseases, creating worse symptoms.

"Our results suggest that the nitrate radical could be a real culprit for respiratory diseases, yet until this study the nitrate radical has been previously entirely overlooked in regard to causes for diseases such as asthma," says Sigmund.

"We are now focusing our research on the cell membrane, to see if these radicals can migrate inside and cause damage to cells," adds Wille. If this is found to be significant, then health researchers might have to factor in the role of the nitrate radical when examining other respiratory diseases.

This work will be published in the upcoming issue of the U.K. Royal Society of ChemistryΉs Chemical Communications.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Melbourne. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Melbourne. "Free Radical Link Suggested Between Pollution And Asthma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080503071646.htm>.
University of Melbourne. (2008, May 5). Free Radical Link Suggested Between Pollution And Asthma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080503071646.htm
University of Melbourne. "Free Radical Link Suggested Between Pollution And Asthma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080503071646.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins