Navigation Links
Manipulating nature: Scientists query wildlife birth-control method

An immuno-contraceptive vaccine causes an animal's immune system to produce antibodies that act against some essential event or structure in the reproductive process. The antibodies can act against sperm, eggs or reproductive hormones, which prevent either fertilization or the production of sperm and ova.

Proponents of the technique, which was first tested nearly 20 years ago, regard it as more humane than the conventional methods of controlling wildlife populations, such as shooting, trapping, poisoning or viral diseases. It has drawn support from some politicians and animal-welfare agencies.

An expert in mammal reproduction, Professor Cooper, of the UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, questions immuno-contraception on three grounds.

"Firstly, immuno-contraceptives are ineffective against substantial minorities of animals, probably for genetic reasons," Professor Cooper says. "If so, the genes responsible for this lack of response will be passed on to offspring. Within a few generations most of the population will be unresponsive to the immunocontraceptive, so its effectiveness as a form of birth control is likely to be short-lived."

Professor Cooper's research reveals that than in 27 out of 32 immunocontraceptive control trials around the world, 10 per cent of animals remained fertile because they were unresponsive to self-antigens.

His second concern is that the technique is effectively a form of genetic engineering: "Immunocontraception alters the gene pool of the targeted species because those animals who are unresponsive are genetically unusual individuals," he says.

"The job of the immunological system is to combat disease-causing organisms. But there is a danger that the selected minority might be more susceptible to diseases, or that they would be better at carrying disease-causing agents which could affect other animals with which they come in contact.

"Unless we are certain about these effects, altering the genetic capacity of a wild population to mount immune responses should not be permitted.

"The third concern is that animals are suffering side-effects from multiple injections and adjuvant substances (catalysts that modify the action of other agents) designed to boost the effectiveness of immuno-contraceptives.

"The most commonly used adjuvant, Freund's adjuvant, also induces a range of undesirable side-effects and its use is being challenged on animal-welfare grounds."


'"/>

Source:University of New South Wales


Related biology news :

1. Manipulating single cell receptor alters animal behavior
2. Scientists ID molecular switch in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
3. Scientists Replicate Hepatitis C Virus in Laboratory
4. Scientists detect probable genetic cause of some Parkinsons disease cases
5. Scientists find missing enzyme for tuberculosis iron scavenging pathway
6. Scientists seek answers on what activates deadly anthrax spores
7. Yale Scientists Find MicroRNA Regulates Ras Cancer Gene
8. Scientists collaborate to assess health of global environment
9. Scientists decipher genome of fungus that can cause life-threatening infections
10. Scientists discover the cellular roots of graying hair
11. Scientists rid stem cell culture of key animal cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/16/2016)... FRANCISCO , June 16, 2016 ... size is expected to reach USD 1.83 ... by Grand View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and ... banking applications are expected to drive the market ... ) , The development of advanced ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. ... a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented ... branch project. This collaboration will result in greater ... the credit union, while maintaining existing document workflow ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160606/375871LOGO ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... June 2, 2016 Perimeter Surveillance ... Unmanned Systems, Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  ... visiongain offers comprehensive analysis of the global ... will generate revenues of $17.98 billion in 2016. ... Inc, a leader in software and hardware technologies for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... A person commits a crime, and the detective ... the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne illness ... (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria that ... It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, cutting-edge ... illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a ... $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank ... automation and to advance its drug development efforts, as ... facility. "SVB has been an incredible strategic ... services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to identifying, ... community, has closed its Series A funding round, according ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis Fund ... to meet our current goals," stated Matthew Nunez ... to complete validation on the current projects in our ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... new line of intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC ... in Chicago. The result of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: