Sex Change Fish


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CAH

SHARPSBURG, Maryland (AP) -- Male fish that are growing eggs have been found in the Potomac River near Sharpsburg, a sign that a little-understood type of pollution is spreading downstream from West Virginia, a federal scientist says.

The so-called intersex abnormality may be caused by pollutants from sewage plants, feedlots and factories that can interfere with animals' hormone systems, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Nine male smallmouth bass taken from the Potomac near Sharpsburg, about 60 miles upstream from Washington, were found to have developed eggs inside their sex organs, said Vicki S. Blazer, a scientist overseeing the research for the U.S. Geological Survey.

Authorities say the problems are likely related to a class of pollutants called endocrine disruptors, which short-circuit animals' natural systems of hormone chemical messages.

Officials are awaiting the results of water-quality testing that might point to a specific chemical behind the fish problems, Blazer said.

"It certainly indicates something's going on," Blazer said of the new findings in Maryland. "But what, we don't know."

The Potomac River is the main source of drinking water for the Washington metropolitan area and many upstream communities. It provides about 75 percent of the water supply to the 3.6 million residents of Washington and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs.

Blazer, who works at a federal fish lab in Leetown, West Virginia., said she found the latest abnormalities last week while examining tissues from fish taken from the river near Sharpsburg.

Blazer and other scientists discovered the problem there last year while investigating a rash of mass fish deaths.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service researchers are seeking money for a much larger study across the Potomac watershed.

Many scientists are concerned that people, as well as other animals, might be affected. "It's not good news that there's something that feminizes male fish in your water," said Gina Solomon, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Authorities in West Virginia are investigating whether there is a link to higher rates of certain cancers in people there.

A recent survey of cancer in Hardy County, where some residents get drinking water from the South Branch, found rates of cancer of the liver, gallbladder, ovaries and uterus that were higher than the state average. All four cancers can in some cases grow faster in the presence of estrogen or chemicals that mimic it, cancer experts said.

full story:

http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/science/12/21...h.ap/index.html

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one321

Interesting...but disturbing. Soon we'll all just be mutants. :alien:

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Boogiman

A crap, this is just great. Just got a question from my little siter about where baby's are coming from, now I have to do that all over again...... :angry:

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CAH

What happens to humans who eat the fish ??? :o

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D,Ranged
What happens to humans who eat the fish ??? :o

585140915[/snapback]

God only knows, but then again maybe not. Strange stuff :unsure:

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AJerman

Haha, that's crazy. But I guess it's not really that funny. Our pollution is destroying other wildlife like this all the time. Sad really :\

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Question Mark

There is a type of fish somewhere in the ocean (I believe that they are in the tropics) That can change their sex from male to female and back again about 6 times in their life.

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qdave

this is so sad :(

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JustVince

Maybe it's pollution, but it could be evolution...

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insanekiwi

wow :blink:

reminds me of that 3-eyed fish from the simpsons. crazy mutation.

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Saadu

Thats a strange mutation. Could it reach the point where they all become uni sexed and its the mightier one who carries the babies. Evolution all over again. Why not? It could be going in a circle as most things in nature do.

On a ligher note: If her egg travels up my pipe, will i start doing whats happening to these fish?

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CAH
There is a type of fish somewhere in the ocean (I believe that they are in the tropics) That can change their sex from male to female and back again about 6 times in their life.

585141028[/snapback]

Wow. Wish I could. :blink:

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AbsoluteDNA

so the fish was gay? :rotf:

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kennyout

you know its funny, we've been told that some fish and frogs/lizards/whatnot can change sex on the fly as needed....as Mr. S said

yet now they want to blame it on polution when the chance is they just did not notice this fish did that?

or its evolving.....of course evolution depends on environment, and mutations are either a jump up or a de-evolution/bad (take 7 legged frogs for instance, they can't move right so some bird/whatnot gets to lower the population, but inherets the mutation also onto their young, which fly and poop bad or somehow get eaten,, and the cycle leads somewhere but I don't feel like going).

but.... this appears to be stating Male Fish in general.....which would be a bad sign....instead of a specific species, so that means its pollution causing mutations not in the good way....

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CAH

^ reflects our Human obsession with sex and being 'normal'.

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