In fact, a recent report found that one third of small mouth bass were feminized in nine major U.S. river basins, and almost all of the rivers and streams tested in the United States contained some hormonally active chemicals.
The long-term consequences of hormones and endocrine disruptors in the environment will be the focus of the Tenth International Symposium on Environment and Hormones (E.hormone 2009), a four-day conference starting Oct. 21 at Tulane University that will bring together leading experts from around the world to talk about the latest research in this emerging field.
"It is one of the hottest topics in environmental biology right now," says John McLachlan, director of the Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research, which is hosting the conference. "The biological activity of these compounds both in terms of other species and, potentially, ourselves is something that scientists are becoming more and more aware of through research."
Almost 30 years ago, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences organized the first symposium on estrogens in the environment at a time when researchers were just becoming aware of the potential environmental impacts of synthetic hormones caused by industrial byproducts, pesticides and other chemicals introduced to the environment. Now scientists are looking at the proliferation of prescription drugs like antidepressants, contraceptives and other medications that are ending up in wastewater after being taken by people. Most municipal water treatment systems don't have the ability to neutralize pharmaceutical compounds in wastewater so they end up in rivers and streams, McLachlan says.
"They all end up in different places in the environment," he says. "What do they do to the wildlife that absorb them and, more importantly, what do they do to our water sources?"
A recent study published in the journal Aquatic Toxicology found feminized male fish in almost a third of 111 sampling sites in nine major U.S. river basins. Scientists are studying whether endocrine disruptors are responsible. Tyron Hayes, a leading expert in intersexed amphibians, will be speaking at the conference about his research on the effects of endocrine disruptors on wildlife.
The conference also discusses how hormones affect the body and endocrine system and how they may play a role in diseases like breast cancer. There will be several sessions about DES (diethylstilbestrol), a synthetic form of estrogen linked to increased cancer risks. The conference will also feature a session by "green chemistry" expert Terry Collins, who is leading a campaign to get companies to anticipate the future biological activity of the chemicals they design to make sure they don't cause problems as they break down. There is also a session about Bisphenol-A – a common chemical in plastic food containers and bottles – and its potential links to Type II diabetes and obesity.
Registration for the conference, which is scheduled for Oct. 21-24 at the Pere Marquette Hotel in downtown New Orleans, costs $450 for members of the public or $300 for students. Day passes are available for $200 or $125 for faculty members of Tulane or Xavier universities. Members of the public can attend one individual session of the conference at no charge, but they must register if they are attending multiple sessions.
More information, including a full program schedule, is available online at http://e.hormone.tulane.edu/eh2009.html
Keith Brannon | Newswise Science News
Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg
New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences