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BioScience tip sheet, December 2008
Date:11/30/2008

in the environment.

Roach, Sex, and Gender-Bending Chemicals: The Feminization of Wild Fish in English Rivers.
Charles R. Tyler and Susan Jobling.

Male roach in English rivers often develop female characteristics, a consequence of natural and synthetic steroidal estrogens and chemicals that mimic estrogens. The toxic effects of these chemicals can alter reproductive behavior and might be reducing population sizes.

Commonality in Signaling of Endocrine Disruption from Snail to Human.
Taisen Iguchi and Yoshinao Katsu.

A ubiquitous pollutant, tributyl tin chloride, could be promoting obesity. The chemical is used in industrial water systems and wood preservatives and as a pesticide on high-value food crops. It is also found in fish and shellfish. Tributyl tin affects sensitive receptors in the cells of animals from water fleas to humans at concentrations of parts per billiona thousand times lower than pollutants that are known to interfere with sexual development of wildlife species.

"Livewood": Geomorphic and Ecological Functions of Living Trees in River Channels.
Jeffrey J. Opperman, Mark Meleason, Robert A. Francis, and Rob Davies-Colley.

Living wood within streams and rivers has a very different ecological role from dead wood. In some areas it may be key to determining geomorphic patterns and where new trees can grow. Careful consideration of the role of "livewood" is essential to understanding the development of riverscapes.

Biology Concept Inventories: Overview, Status, and Next Steps.
Charlene D'Avanzo.

Several groups of biologists and educators are now developing these compilations of key biological ideas, used chiefly to assess students' comprehension. They could also be used in a coordinated fashion to advance new approaches to teaching.


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Contact: Jennifer Williams
jwilliams@aibs.org
202-628-1500 x209
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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