The research, presented this week at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society*, was conducted to better understand the environmental impact of pharmaceuticals in waste water.
public_affairs/techbeat/tb2005_1222.htm#drugs), raising concerns about potential health impacts for both humans and animals from low-level but continuous exposure to the chemicals. NIST and NCSU researchers at the Hollings Marine Laboratory (Charleston, S.C.) examined the effect of fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) on a native freshwater mussel (Elliptio complanata). Fluoxetine, sold under the trade name ProzacTM, is one of the most heavily prescribed antidepressants in the United States. In humans, it acts to increase the levels of serotonin at nerve synapses, relieving depression and associated illnesses. But for a number of aquatic species, serotonin moderates the reproductive system--and has been used to artificially induce spawning in bivalves.
At laboratory test concentrations, they found, fluoxetine caused female mussels carrying larvae to release them prematurely, and often, before they were viable, disrupting their reproductive cycle. Approximately 70 percent of the almost 300 species of North American freshwater mussels are considered vulnerable to extinction or already extinct.
The finding also raises questions about the effect of fluoxetine on other aquatic species that share similar endocrine mechanisms. The research team currently is gathering environmental samples from local waters and sediments to compare environmental concentrations with their findings.
Michael Baum | EurekAlert!
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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