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Sexually mutatating fish found in the Potomac

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posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 11:32 AM
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After a small sampling of fish in the Potomac scientists were surprised at the large number of fish found with features of both sexes. This includes male fish that were producing eggs. The rate of this find were extremely high, 7 out of 13 male largemouth bass taken exhibited female characteristics... this is out of a total sampling of 20 fish taken in 8 different locations.
 



news.yahoo.com
By MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press Writer Wed Sep 6, 6:58 PM ET

McLEAN, Va. - Some species of male fish in the Potomac River and its tributaries are developing female sexual traits at a frequency higher than scientists have seen before, raising concerns about pollutants in a waterway that provides drinking water for millions of people.

The so-called "intersex fish," which produce immature eggs in their testes, were discovered in the Potomac rivershed in 2003 and have also been found in other parts of the country.

But the frequency that the U.S. Geological Surveys found last year is much higher than what has been found elsewhere, said fish pathologist Vicki Blazer.

In some Potomac tributaries, nearly all of the male smallmouth bass caught in last year's survey were the abnormal fish. In the Potomac itself, seven of 13 largemouth bass exhibited female characteristics, including three that were producing eggs.

Although the frequency discovered was surprisingly high, Blazer cautioned that the sample size was relatively small, with about 10 male and 10 female fish taken from each of eight locations in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I find this both amazing and extremely disturbing, especially considering the major suspect are pollutants in the water, pollutants that have already been found in human bloodstreams. It could very well be that we have created a situation in which the genetic makeup of whole species are beginning to break down. And if this is true of animals with relatively simple (read easy for the RNA to reproduce) DNA structure, what does it bode for animals such as us, with quite complex DNA codes?

Related News Links:
Potomac 'Intersex' Fish Worry Scientists


[edit on 7-9-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]




posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 08:20 PM
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Perhaps they were just caught in the process of changing thier sex for standard purposes. Many fish in the world change sex to fill a lead role in the group, such as wrasse, clownfish, parrotfish, and many many others.


apc

posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 09:04 PM
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Yes, this certainly isn't new. I can't recall specifics, but I recall from a documentary years ago talks about fish that had traits of both sexes.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 10:09 PM
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Sex-changing fish are known as successive hermaphrodites--each fish can make either testes or ovaries and produce either eggs or sperm. The simultaneous hermaphrodite, however, comes equipped with both testes and ovaries. These fish would have to check both the male and female boxes on a personal questionnaire.


One species of sea bass, Serranus tortugarum, releases eggs during about half of its 14 or so daily spawns and contributes sperm for the other half, explains Christopher W. Petersen of the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. It can switch from providing sperm to releasing eggs within 30 seconds.


S. tortugarum develops more female gonadal tissue as it grows bigger, causing it to release more eggs and fewer sperm, assert Petersen and his colleague Eric A. Fisher, now with the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. The fish's spawning behavior remains the same, however. Its increased egg production may boost reproductive success, since almost all eggs get fertilized but not all sperm find eggs. Petersen and Fisher will report their findings in an upcoming issue of Evolution.


Other simultaneous hermaphrodites develop more male tissue as they grow. These fish eventually change sex completely, however, becoming successive hermaphrodites. Scientists have studied more than 100 species of successive hermaphrodites but suspect that many more exist, says Douglas Y. Shapiro of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti. Most of the species found so far reside in shallow ocean waters.


In the most common type of sex reversal, females mature, reproduce, and then become males. Their ovaries disappear entirely (or almost entirely), they grow testes, and their hormonal systems switch. Many fish also change color. They act like males, which in some species includes protecting their nests, behaving aggressively, and courting females. Less commonly, some species change from male to female.


Either way, sex reversal "is a very dramatic change in almost all aspects of the life of the [fish]," Shapiro explains.

Most fish undertake the change only once. For many species, it occurs in response to an altered social environment, as when a dominant male dies or leaves his social group and one of the females becomes male and takes his place. Changing sex can take as little as 4 days. What keeps fish from doing it more often remains unclear. Some researchers suggest that the dominant male's aggression inhibits sex change in subordinates. Others argue that it's much more complicated than that.


Science News Magazine

Please edit your source url, page is coming up not found.



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 06:18 AM
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I know that some species change their sex but if you check I think you will find that both Small and Large mouthed bass and not among those species. I would also think that these scientists have taken that into consideration as well, if the species did change their sex periodically, there wouldn't be a story.



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 08:12 AM
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If a species is threatened and has the aptitude to survive it will by any means necessary. I know there are a certain species of frog that can change sexes too.



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 08:26 AM
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Good find.



You are quite right:




It could very well be that we have created a situation in which the genetic makeup of whole species are beginning to break down. And if this is true of animals with relatively simple (read easy for the RNA to reproduce) DNA structure, what does it bode for animals such as us, with quite complex DNA codes?




Has anyone noticed that the human "fertility industry" is growing by leaps and bounds? We've got new, never-before-seen medical procedures, fertility medications, egg and sperm banks... Like, maybe there is a reason?






wd

[edit on 8-9-2006 by soficrow]


apc

posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 08:56 AM
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The source URL is borkded.

It is interesting that apparently only male fish are making the conversion.

And I think on human fertility, that is just technological advancements as we learn more and more about human reproduction at the genetic level.



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 11:03 AM
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That is actually probably why our population is expanding so rapidly. The fact that people who should not be able to have children are indeed having them.

Well, thats cool though about these bass. It may be odd, but I do not believe it is a threat to their species. Probably just means they are trying to survive whatever we are polluting them with.



posted on Sep, 18 2006 @ 09:31 AM
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Originally posted by DYepes

That is actually probably why our population is expanding so rapidly. The fact that people who should not be able to have children are indeed having them.





But only people who can afford super-expensive drugs and procedures can go to fertility clinics.

Are you saying that the "poor but fertile" are the fittest, and therefor, the ones who should survive?

That the ability to buy medical care and treatment sabotages natural selection?


Radical.

:he he:



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 01:11 PM
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Some babies are born with male and female genitals: the old word was "hermaphrodite; the new word is "intersex."

We don't know how common 'intersex' babies are because in 1965, the AMA adopted the "Money protocol" to surgically alter intersex babies, and "discourage" families from discussing the anomaly or operation, or ever informing the child.



Camoflaging the Incidence of Reproductive Anomilies with Genital Surgery

When Brian Sullivan - the baby who would before age 2 become Bonnie Sullivan and 36 years later become Cheryl Chase - was born in New Jersey on Aug. 14, 1956, doctors kept his mother, a Catholic housewife, sedated for three days until they could decide what to tell her. Sullivan was born with ambiguous genitals, or as Chase now describes them, with genitals that looked “like a little parkerhouse roll with a cleft in the middle and a little nubbin forward.” Sullivan lived as a boy for 18 months, until doctors at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in Manhattan performed exploratory surgery, found a uterus and ovotestes (gonads containing both ovarian and testicular tissue) and told the Sullivans they’d made a mistake: Brian, a true hermaphrodite in the medical terminology of the day, was actually a girl. Brian was renamed Bonnie, her “nubbin” (which was either a small penis or a large clitoris) was entirely removed and doctors counseled the family to throw away all pictures of Brian, move to a new town and get on with their lives.

...Sullivan spent most of her childhood and young-adult life extremely unhappy, feeling different from her peers though unsure how. ...her mother maintained that the clitoridectomy had not impacted her daughter’s life. “When you came home,” Cathleen Sullivan told Chase about her return from the hospital after surgery, “there seemed to be no effect at all. Oh, yes, wait a minute. Yes, there was one thing. You stopped speaking. I guess you didn’t speak for about six months. Then one day you started talking again. You had known quite a lot of words at 17 months, but you forgot them all.”

Reports on the frequency of intersex births vary widely: Chase claims 1 in 2,000; more conservative estimates from experts put it at 1 in 4,500. Whatever the case, intersex is roughly as common as cystic fibrosis, ...her arguments force all of us to confront some basic issues about sexual identity, birth anomalies and what rights parents have in physically shaping their kids. Will a child grow up to enjoy a better life if he or she is saved from the trials of maturing in a funny-looking body? Or will that child be better off if he or she is loved and accepted, at least at home, exactly as he or she is? ...The old protocol for dealing with an intersex birth, the protocol Chase was subjected to as a child, was based on the belief that children should be saved from the anguish of looking weird, or of even knowing they were born looking weird. This would come to be known as the “optimal gender of rearing” protocol and was put forth by John Money, a psychologist who in 1965 founded the Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic, which specializes in transgender surgery. Money’s protocol guided doctors to perform genital surgery on intersex babies and then discourage families from discussing the child’s ambiguity, for fear that the child would grow up questioning his or her sexual identity.




Supposedly, these secret operations are designed to "protect" children from questioning their sexual identities.

In fact, the "secrecy protocols" for genital surgery on babies actually cover up the extent of reproductive anomalies occurring in the human population.





posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 02:28 PM
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Sofi any studies or statistic on modern "intersex." children been born? this issue is so tabu that you can not really find anything at all.

I wonder if somebody is hiding something.



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 02:45 PM
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Something in the water is confusing fish and their sexual identity. What would happen if say what ever is causing fish to become transvestite gets into our own water system?? Would it produce more Homosexuals, more Transvestites, more gender confused children??



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
Would it produce more Homosexuals, more Transvestites, more gender confused children??


The problem with the fish is that it has dual sexual organs, on humans that was called hermaphrodites and now is called intersex.

The problem is that this is a mutation on fish, but can it be a mutation on humans also.

And due to the sensitivity of the issue on children is kept quiet. So actually we don't even know if cases has increased through the years.



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
Something in the water is confusing fish and their sexual identity.




You're being sarcastic, right?






What would happen if say what ever is causing fish to become transvestite gets into our own water system??




Whatever is causing sexual mutations in fish, IS in our own water systems. High on the list are the hormone disruptors - and they're even disrupting polar bears' sexual organs.

...That's how far they can travel without losing potency.







Would it produce more Homosexuals, more Transvestites, more gender confused children??






I wonder.

But maybe, if we dealt with reality, instead of hiding it, people would not be so confused. About their sexuality or anything else.




posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by grover
After a small sampling of fish in the Potomac scientists were surprised at the large number of fish found with features of both sexes. This includes male fish that were producing eggs. The rate of this find were extremely high, 7 out of 13 male largemouth bass taken exhibited female characteristics... this is out of a total sampling of 20 fish taken in 8 different locations.
 



I find this both amazing and extremely disturbing, especially considering the major suspect are pollutants in the water, pollutants that have already been found in human bloodstreams. It could very well be that we have created a situation in which the genetic makeup of whole species are beginning to break down. And if this is true of animals with relatively simple (read easy for the RNA to reproduce) DNA structure, what does it bode for animals such as us, with quite complex DNA codes?


I find the sampling startlingly small to make any conclusions from. It could be a genetic mutation that is specific to this little grouping of fish. With only 20 samples taken it would be hard to extrapolate that data to the entire bass population within the Potomac. Will it affect the larger fish population, possibly. There are all kinds of possible reasons this is occuring. How well has that species of bass been studied? Maybe they are able to change their sex as other fish, including some bass, and certain frogs can.

It sounds to me like there may need to be more studies done. I'm guessing that was the intention of this scientist ... not to say there is a definitive problem with the bass or the Potomac but to say here's a indicator of a problem and let's study it some more.



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 05:14 PM
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If you read the report it is the very fact that such a small random sampling had such a large number of mutations in it that made it so startling. It would be odd indeed to just so happen to catch just the mutations.



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 05:21 PM
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.


There is a wealth of information about how chemicals and human waste trigger sexual mutation in animals.

For example, the first 3 of 2,000,000 Google articles for the terms " +sexual +"hormone disruptors" OR chemicals +"polar bears" OR fish OR amphibians ":


Animals' Sexual Changes Linked to Waste, Chemicals

Animals throughout the world are undergoing unnatural sexual changes in response to environmental pollution, according to a group of scientists. The scientists warn that the gender-bending effects of certain man-made substances and human sewage seriously threaten polar bears, alligators, frogs, mollusks, and other wildlife.

The group's concerns are set out in a new report compiled by an international research team for the Paris-based Scientific Committee on Problems in the Environment (SCOPE) and the North Carolina-based International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The scientists say the report represents the first major global investigation into body-altering chemicals known as endocrine active substances, or EASs. ..."Understanding the scientific issues surrounding endocrine active substances is an international priority," the report states. "Endocrine disruptors affect not only humans, but also other living organisms. They affect not only our own generation, but also future generations."

Scientists first realized the scale of endocrine disruptors' gender-bending potential in the 1990s. According to Joanna Burger, studies have shown over 200 animal species around the world are known or are suspected to have been affected by EASs.

***

According to Sea Grant researcher Deb Swackhamer, professor with the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, everyday sorts of chemicals that get into waterways may affect the environment, and can scramble the hormonal signals that rule fish development and reproduction.

***

Estrogen found in waters alters sex organs of fish

Pharmaceuticals, other substances from sewage plants end up in lakes, cause sexual mutations. ...Fish in the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair have been detected with sexual abnormalities and scientists say they may be linked to estrogen -- or chemicals that mimic estrogen -- showing up in waterways.

Studies conducted by a Canadian scientist in 2002 show that white perch caught for research had male and female sex organs, and a second study showed that male snapping turtles had traces of estrogen. Scientist Chris Metcalfe, of Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, said suspicions are that the feminization of wildlife is linked to chemicals coming from sewage plants. ...These chemicals can affect sperm quality, which can affect reproduction. ...The estrogen shows up in water either through waste or through birth control pills flushed down toilets or sinks. Chemicals that mimic the effects of estrogen include atrazine, a herbicide washed off farmlands and into lakes and rivers.

"Atrazine actually affects the sexual development of organisms," said Oakland University professor Linda Schweitzer, a professor of environmental chemistry at Oakland University who is studying the issue. ..."Atrazine stimulates the enzyme aromatase, which induces the male hormone testosterone to become a form of the female hormone estrogen, and that feminizes fish, frogs and possibly other organisms." ...the Environmental Protection Agency has found that atrazine can cause heart congestion, muscle spasms and possibly cancer. ...Traces of estrogen and atrazine also are showing up in intakes at drinking water plants that draw their water from rivers and lakes containing the chemicals. Schweitzer has found traces of both in plants in Detroit and Windsor.





What's missing is how often and how much the same contaminants affect human sexuality. But discussing - and studying - the subject is taboo, as marg pointed out.

Doctors and hospitals are NOT required to report genital surgeries.

But if you want a sense of how often sexual mutations occur in people, run a quick search for "fertility clinic." The size of the industry reflects the market - the need in the human population.



ed for bad link - sorry, can't fix








[edit on 24-9-2006 by soficrow]



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 05:37 PM
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It would be interesting to see if any new Coal plants(or old ones) have opened recently, because I've read that decrease in pH can dramatically alter indicator species reproductive cycles with conditions ranging from sterility to hermaphroditism and sometimes both are the case. I'm not too convinced about the human estrogen being the culprit, but it's still worth looking into.



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 05:48 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000

I'm not too convinced about the human estrogen being the culprit, but it's still worth looking into.




The research says the causes are multifactorial - estrogen is only one factor. Numerous chemicals either mimic estrogen, or disrupt the hormonal system in other ways.

...Please, please, at least take a quick glance at the data. It's real.


.




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