Pickering and her husband Graham George, also a U of S professor, along with University of Calgary chemist Juergen Gailer, have spent years questioning how to help as many as 80 million people in Bangladesh combat arsenic poisoning in drinking water.Victims of arsenic poisoning are being given selenium supplements to see if it helps with their condition.
Using a synchrotron in California, the team discovered that if arsenic and the element selenium are present in the body in equal amounts, they will bind with a naturally-occurring molecule and pass through the body harmlessly.
It isn't that Bangladesh people are arsenic-rich, George said, but that they're lacking the essential selenium.
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