HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Unwanted HRT playing havoc with songbirds

GENDER-bending chemicals could be interfering with the breeding of songbirds. First alligators and fish were being feminised by synthetic hormones leaking into the environment. Now nightingales, skylarks and even the humble sparrow seem to be at risk.

Researchers have found that such chemicals interfere with songbirds' reproduction. They also alter their brains, making females sing when they shouldn't.

"This is very significant," says David Crews, an expert on the effects of synthetic chemicals on animal reproduction at the University of Texas in Austin. He says that until now, concrete evidence on how pollutants affect animals has been scarce. "This is the first step needed to demonstrate a causal link between specific pollutants and the effects on wildlife populations," he says.

The pollutants in this case are oestrogens. Synthetic oestrogen used in birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for women has been finding its way into streams and rivers. Oestrogen-like compounds are also formed by the breakdown of pesticides such as DDT.

Last week the US Geological Survey reported that waterways in the US are contaminated with such compounds (Environmental Science and Technology, vol 36, p 1202). Environmental oestrogens are believed to be responsible for male alligators in Florida being born with shrunken penises. Male fish have also produced yolk protein-something usually only female fish do.

Researchers know they can change the brain circuitry of female zebra finches by injecting them with oestrogen shortly after birth. This makes them sing, normally the preserve of males. But James Millam and his team at the University of California in Davis wondered whether the birds would also be affected by eating doses of oestrogens similar to those they would ingest in the wild.

They fed hatchlings for a week with a chemical containing oestradiol, an oestrogen used in HRT. Controls were given rapeseed oil. When the birds grew
'"/>

Contact: Claire Bowles
claire.bowles@rbi.co.uk
44-207-331-2751
New Scientist
27-Mar-2002


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. For a male sand goby, playing Mr. Mom is key to females heart
2. K-State soil carbon sequestration research playing role in climate change efforts
3. American black cherry tree overruns Europe by playing dirty
4. Songbirds use mental pointer when playing tunes
5. Tiny beetle wreaks havoc on Texas ornamental tree nurseries
6. JAK2 enzyme helps protect brain cells, wreaks havoc on blood vessels
7. Huge iceberg wreaks havoc on Antarctic marine ecosystem, study finds
8. Sleepless over Seattle: Migrating songbirds forgo sleep but keep their wits
9. Global warming may cause songbirds to avoid certain foods
10. Researchers find new form of hormone that helps songbirds reproduce
11. Unfaithful songbirds increase offspring fitness

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/6/2019)... , ... August 05, 2019 , ... ... is pleased to announce its attendance at the Microscopy & Microanalysis 2019 Meeting ... Oregon at the Oregon Convention Center. , The Microscopy & Microanalysis Meeting, organized ...
(Date:8/1/2019)... ... August 01, 2019 , ... The GENSPEED platform is ... care. It is fully developed with over 100 units deployed in the field ... fields of use, our collaboration with axiVEND will give us a foothold in the ...
(Date:8/1/2019)... ... July 31, 2019 , ... Advancements with Ted Danson to ... more information. , Factor Bioscience Inc. (Factor) is pioneering nucleic-acid and cell-based technologies ... This segment of Advancements will explore how Factor Bioscience is building the future ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/9/2019)... ... July 08, 2019 , ... Today, at the BIO World Congress ... Association (NCGA) announced the winners of the Consider Corn Challenge II. Three winners ... field corn to produce biobased materials. , “Corn is a sustainable, abundant and ...
(Date:6/26/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Alice Branton today released research results from preclinical trials on ... which can prove to be beneficial for treating Hypomagnesemia. , The preclinical trial shows:, ... crystallite size , Over 142% increase in particle size , ...
(Date:6/12/2019)... TOWNSHIP, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... June 12, 2019 ... ... of custom built, helium-based leak testing instruments for the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Device ... with Shanghai Zillion has been signed. The agreement will grant exclusive rights for ...
(Date:6/11/2019)... ... June 10, 2019 , ... DeepDyve ... of its scientific journals to DeepDyve’s rental service for peer-reviewed journals. , ... library of more than 20 million articles, sourced from more than 15,000 journals. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: