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Updates and Opportunities

What’s new? 

The Curl Agricultural Health Lab (CAHL) has been making significant progress with the Organic Food Study since the conclusion of our PonyUp fundraising campaign. This campaign allowed our project to expand from including 10 pregnant women in this pilot study to a total of 20 women, and we were able to meet our recruitment goal with the help of our local Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Clinics.

At this point in the study, 16 of our participants have had their babies, and to date we have collected 431 of the 500 urine samples we originally projected. We have already sent the urine from the first 10 moms to the CDC for sample analysis and expect to have the remainder of the samples collected by the end of the summer.

In addition to this pilot study, the CAHL has been actively involved in a project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to assess inorganic bromide (Br) uptake in crops grown in fields in eastern Idaho previously fumigated with methyl bromide (MeBr). Adverse health effects were observed in cattle who consumed crops grown in these treated fields, an unexpected outcome since MeBr was applied according to label specifications.

The main goals of this research project were to assess Br uptake in multiple crops grown in MeBr-treated fields, determine the effect of soil amendments on Br uptake, and establish background Br levels from untreated fields in the region. To meet these goals, we collaborated with researchers at the University of Idaho to develop field test plots of five crops common to eastern Idaho (corn, wheat, barley, alfalfa, and potatoes) and to collect both crop and soil samples to analyze for Br concentrations from these test plots as well as untreated fields that were located nearby.

We have learned a great deal about how different crops take up Br, and our new funding ensures that this important work will continue for another growing season.

How can I get involved?

Our lab conducts innovative research as it relates to agricultural health, and a key part of innovation arises through collaborative efforts. There are frequent opportunities for Boise State University intern and volunteer positions a the Curl Agricultural Health Lab. If interested, email Dr. Curl at cynthiacurl@boisestate.edu

Follow our twitter account @AgHealth_BSU for additional news and information!