MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A West Virginia University assistant professor has received a $450,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to look at how airborne particles that result from hydraulic fracturing affect human health.

In hydraulic fracturing, oil and gas are extracted from rock by injecting mixtures of water, sand and chemicals underground.

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The university said in a news release that public health assistant professor Travis Knuckles will spend three years studying how the particles can make it harder to control how much blood enters the capillaries. He will also explore at how the particles can make it harder to turn oxygen into a chemical that is a primary energy source for cells.

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Knuckles and his research team will look at whether fine particles released by fracking are more toxic than particles normally found in urban air.

late last year the Trump administration rescinded proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas-drilling practices on government lands.

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