Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High Levels Of Pollutants May Decrease Sexual Organ Size In Polar Bears

Date:
September 5, 2006
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Exposure to high levels of environmental pollutants called organohalogen compounds (OHCs) seems to reduce the size of sexual organs in male and female polar bears, researchers report in an article scheduled for the Sept. 15 issue of the ACS journal, Environmental Science & Technology. OHCs include dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls and some pesticides.

Exposure to high levels of environmental pollutants called organohalogen compounds (OHCs) seems to reduce the size of sexual organs in male and female polar bears, researchers report in an article scheduled for the Sept. 15 issue of the ACS journal, Environmental Science & Technology.

OHCs include dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls and some pesticides.

Christian Sonne and colleagues checked 55 male and 44 female East Greenland polar bears for a correlation between OHC levels in body tissue and size of sexual organs.

Sonne's group did the study to close gaps in knowledge about the OHC's possible effects on reproduction in polar bears, a vulnerable population because of their low reproductive rates. The bears have elevated OHC levels, due to a diet that includes seals, which accumulate large amounts of OHCs in their blubber. Past studies have linked OHCs to various health effects in the bears.

The new study reports a connection between OHC levels and reduced size of the uterus in female bears and reduced size of the testis and baculum (penis bone) in males. A large baculum is critical for successful mating in an arctic climate, the researchers note, and even slight decreases may interfere with reproduction.

"Furthermore, similar physiological impacts from organohalogen-pollutant exposure may be manifested on the reproductive tract of humans relying on OHC-contaminated food resources," the study states.

Reference: "Xenoendocrine Pollutants May Reduce Size of Sexual Organs in East Greenland Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus)." Environmental Science & Technology


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "High Levels Of Pollutants May Decrease Sexual Organ Size In Polar Bears." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060904100814.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2006, September 5). High Levels Of Pollutants May Decrease Sexual Organ Size In Polar Bears. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060904100814.htm
American Chemical Society. "High Levels Of Pollutants May Decrease Sexual Organ Size In Polar Bears." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060904100814.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins