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Fish Evolve Immunity To Toxic Sludge

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the what-does-not-kill-me dept.

Earth 267

RedEaredSlider writes "Fish in the Hudson River and the harbor in New Bedford, Mass., have evolved resistance to PCBs. In the Hudson, a species of tomcod has evolved a way for a very specific protein to simply not bind to PCBs, nearly eliminating the toxicity. In New Bedford, the Atlantic killifish has proteins that bind to the toxin (just as they do in mammals) but the fish aren't affected despite high levels of PCBs in their cells. Why the killifish survive is a mystery."

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So, dump more sludge? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887600)

It's good for evolution!

Re:So, dump more sludge? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887702)

No, an intelligent fish designed its offspring to be resistant. :-)

Re:So, dump more sludge? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887716)

Indeed, maybe nig- I mean, African-Americans- will evolve the ability to live in an environment without poisoning everything around them. Then again, they aren't nearly as clever as some fish....

Re:So, dump more sludge? (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887780)

Hopefully you never evolve any immunity to a number of horrible infectious diseases.

Re:So, dump more sludge? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887944)

Why do you hate my freedom of speech? Fuck you, bigot.

Re:So, dump more sludge? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887788)

Nig- I mean, African-Americans probably won't evolve. Instead it is the rest of society that will evolve to become resistant to the poison.

Re:So, dump more sludge? (1)

RandomAvatar (2487198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887980)

Indeed, maybe nig- I mean, African-Americans- will evolve the ability to live in an environment without poisoning everything around them. Then again, they aren't nearly as clever as some fish....

Well, freedom of speech here has been exercised. Unfortunately, so has this persons power of racism, lack of manners, and idiocy. It is a shame that there are people like you still around, I thought most modern people were beyond such pettiness.

Re:So, dump more sludge? (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888044)

My advice: Stop falling for such an obvious troll and your outlook on life will be much improved.

If this were a thread in a story about eugenics, then it may be legit, but since the comment in question was only tangentially connected to the story, you should immediately tell that it is a troll.

Then again, I seem to be the only one who can tell a goatse link from a legit link without clicking 95% of the time, so I may just have a gift.

Re:So, dump more sludge? (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888046)

Don't let them ruffle your feathers. The reason they do this is because they lost a girl to a black guy and can't get over it.

LK

Re:So, dump more sludge? (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887736)

No kidding. This along with many experimental models prove that everything evolves, including bacterial colonies. And now proof that complex organisms can spontaneously evolve, I wonder how the 6,000 year old earthers will respond.

Plan B already in motion (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887816)

Have you heard that microevolution != macroevolution? Well, now you have! It would not do to imply that an all-powerful, all-knowing being needs not play with their creation like an ADD toddler playing with their ant farm.

Re:Plan B already in motion (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37888062)

The only difference between the two is TIME. They are the same process, you bible-thumping nitwit.

Re:Plan B already in motion (0)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888186)

I'd thump your head to let in a little clue except that it is clear your kind evolved with very thick skulls.

Yeah creationist ? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887610)

I'm sorry, but i can't hear you over the sound of how awesome those fishes are!!

Re:Yeah creationist ? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887636)

Indeed. Fish that have resistance qualities to printed circuit boards? Maybe we can have them make our iWidgets.

This should go swimmingly.

Re:Yeah creationist ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887704)

I don't see how a mutation in a fish proves or disproves creation. Creationist just believe it all started at the word of a God. It doesn't exclude the idea creation has the ability to adapt to changes.

Re:Yeah creationist ? (2)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887726)

You are correct, it doesn't prove or disprove creationism because creationism isn't a scientific theory.

Re:Yeah creationist ? (0)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887750)

Nothing disproves that, as that would be impossible (magic did it). But it makes them look more stupid, when they try to argue around every new finding. :)

Re:Yeah creationist ? (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887792)

I didn't hear anything about proving or disproving anything in the parent post. It is in all likelihood a jab at creationists as a shown example of an organism exhibiting traits of evolution for a very specific purpose. Also, for the record, while it is true that the idea of creation doesn't preclude the notion of the ability to adapt. Most creationists are firm deniers of evolution, and the parent post was in all probability a jab at them.

Re:Yeah creationist ? (2)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887922)

Most creationists I know don't believe in speciation, but do believe individual species change and adapt.

They also believe in animals having sex to spread genes and adapt. It's simply an argument about the source of Bio diversity.

Re:Yeah creationist ? (4, Insightful)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887854)

The problem here is that any argument (I hesitate to call it debate or even discussion) involving evolution vs creation is that it immediately degrades into an "us" vs "them" fight.

To the hardcore evolutionists, all creationists get lumped together. It doesn't matter if their stance is "I don't think the big bang was an accident" or "the Bible says the Earth is 4000 years old, so that's how old the Earth is". You're a superstitious and mentally deficient nutjob who is at best to be ignored and at worst should be sterilized and exiled.

The converse also occurs. To a fundamentalist creationist, anyone ranging from "I could see how evolution might account for certain things" to "evolution is the correct and only possible explanation" is a godless empty shell of a human who at best should be shunned and at worst should be burned at the stake.

Modern science is built around the idea that you can never actually prove a theory, only disprove it and build a better theory. When you stop trying to disprove your models and accept them as truth, you stop being a scientist and step into the realm of faith.

It's been my experience that fights are not between scientists and zealots; they are between zealots and other zealots.

MOD PARENT +1 Insightful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887902)

This guy nailed it. I went through a Catholic high school as one of the "hardcore evolutionists" and got to college and encountered a small enclave of fundamentalist creationists who irritated me to no end. Ironically, they got me to be a better scientist as I started questioning my own biases. I had no formal background or experience with biology yet I just took all the evolution stuff at face value. I'll learn more about biology soon enough I guess.

Anyway, +1 Insightful parent. -1 Douchebag me for being a coattail rider.

Nope. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888032)

It's been my experience that fights are not between scientists and zealots; they are between zealots and other zealots.

Nope. Otherwise we wouldn't be seening all the attempts such as "teach the controversy" and "teach both" in schools.

Maybe on Internet sites it is zealots vs zealots. But in the real world it is zealots vs everyone-else.

To the hardcore evolutionists ...

And what, exactly, is a "hardcore evolutionist"? Since current medical/biological science is 100% based on evolution.

Modern science is built around the idea that you can never actually prove a theory, only disprove it and build a better theory.

So far, so good.

When you stop trying to disprove your models and accept them as truth, you stop being a scientist and step into the realm of faith.

Nice. But you haven't identified anyone who is doing that.

But it is easy to find the Creationist zealots.

Re:Yeah creationist ? (5, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888080)

Modern science is built around the idea that you can never actually prove a theory, only disprove it and build a better theory. When you stop trying to disprove your models and accept them as truth, you stop being a scientist and step into the realm of faith.

There's just two problems with that one:

1. There's enough evidence for evolution that it must be mostly correct
2. If evolution is flawed, it won't result in concessions towards the creationist stance

For instance, take Newton. Yes, he wasn't entirely correct. But what he figured out, in the conditions he tested it in, worked. That Newton wasn't 100% correct didn't suddenly mean that the reality was any more aligned with the view of Aristotle.

The same way, the argument isn't about whether evolution exists. That got figured out long ago, even before scientists figured out how genetics work. The current arguments are all about the details of it. That the current understanding isn't 100% correct isn't going to suddenly mean that the creationist stance is right, it's just going to mean that some of the details weren't entirely correct, like exactly how some features evolved, how important different mechanisms are, and so on.

Re:Yeah creationist ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887856)

You're trolling aside, the writer of this blurb and article troll much further by saying "evolved" instead of "developed" as it's more correct and in line with actual evolution and biological responses such as developing immunities to external poisons or infections.

Re:Yeah creationist ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37888086)

I'm sorry, but i can't hear you over the sound of how awesome those fishes are!!

They're still fish and neither species has an increased number of chromosomes.

And for the record, I believe that the six days were from God's perspective.

Why would this be a surprise? (5, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887618)

Ananda Chakrabarty developed a microorganism that actual feeds on PCBs by simple selection in his lab some 40 years ago.

We have weeds that have evolved resistance to glyphosate in the wild. That is a much more impressive adaptation because glyphosate interferes with the production of key amino acids by plants.

Life on earth has been adapting and evolving to its environment for billions of years. Why would anyone think it would stop?

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887646)

Single-celled organisms are generally a lot more flexible when it comes to environmental stress than multi-cellular organisms are, and among the latter, plants are generally more flexible than animals. Observing this kind of adaptation in animals is pretty impressive. Nobody expects life to stop adapting to the environment, but there are limits; e.g., humans aren't going to evolve resistance to being shot in the head, no matter how many times it happens.

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887664)

Maybe that's because not enough of them live past it to reproduce?

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887968)

If I remember the statistics correctly, only about 1 in 3 shots to the head result in penetration of the skull.
( Yeah, Hollywood got it wrong, but what do you expect from a group that shows nearly every car crash catching on fire and exploding, as well as guns firing about 10-20 times their full load without ever reloading or having a scene cut where you can imagine they reloaded...)
Along with that, few of the people shot are hit in the head in the first place, most shooters are lucky to hit the main body mass at 20', so head shots are more for movies and video games than reality.

I think the main problem is that there aren't enough people getting shot in the head to make an impact on the overall species survival needs. So with appx 7 billion people (that's 7,000,000,000) on the planet, and probably only a few hundred shot in the head in any given year, that's a really small percentage, even if you just look at particular hot spots.

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887676)

Nobody expects life to stop adapting to the environment, but there are limits; e.g., humans aren't going to evolve resistance to being shot in the head, no matter how many times it happens.

Seems you do not understand how evolution works.

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (2)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887764)

People who think with their genitalias would have a strong advantage in that selection process.

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887982)

People who think with their genitalias would have a strong advantage in that selection process.

Look around, I think the present dickhead percentage in my neighborhood proves your point. They certainly don't multiply because everybody loves having them around.

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (1)

freedumb2000 (966222) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887776)

Indeed, what needs to be done is shoot a few hundred thousand people in the head and have those that survive breed.

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887824)

Nobody expects life to stop adapting to the environment, but there are limits; e.g., humans aren't going to evolve resistance to being shot in the head, no matter how many times it happens.

You're wrong. Yesterday my legs totally evolved into rockets. I'm now a new subhuman species, Homo Rocketus. You're probably just jealous because you can't soar through the skies majestically like me.

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887840)

Already have - it's not a truly limiting requirement so the dozen or so instances of it in Human history have been blended in with the rest - if those dozen or so were all that survived then it might fit the parameters for a requirement of evolution. Hell, you could view the current surplus of Humans (7 billion) to be a natural preparation for the next plague (and for that matter, and incubator for it).

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (4, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887874)

When you put it like that, my life's work sounds like mere homocide.

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887892)

Tell that to Gabrielle Giffords.

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888034)

There is also the case of the Freshwater Sardinella [wikipedia.org] that evolved from seawater sardines that were caught in Lake Taal, after the Mount Taal volcano erupted in the 18th century and closed the direct connection with the sea. Rainwater pushed out the saltwater, but some Sardines survived the transition.

Evolution doesn't take millions of years. (Although, admittedly, the longer the time span the more impressive the results - including those that are impressively resistant to change.)

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887668)

>Why would anyone think it would stop?

Because the American education system teaches that evolution is a fabrication of liberal anti-God scientists.

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887872)

You left out "secular" The American education system describes "secular" as God-hating amoral atheists who hate all people who beleive in God, and strangely self-identifies as "secular" as well (though the non-secular groups, especially in the South, do get into local board power level and deliberately sabotage the federal and state mandates for minimum education, claiming that teaching logic and other things that might confuse students about God is anti-religion, and thus unconstitutional). And they deserve equal time in the media to talk about it. Fair and Balanced.

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887692)

It's not a surprise. It's an elegant example of natural selection at work. And a bazinga to the religulous nuts who still believe in creationism.

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (1)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888072)

You watch your mouth, Shelly. Everyone's entitled to their opinion.

Re:Why would this be a surprise? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887890)

Life on earth has been adapting and evolving to its environment for billions of years. Why would anyone think it would stop?

Most often, because evolution also says we are one of its byproduct, and while we can look at ourselves and say "Hell yeah! Evolution!", the moment we go outside we're like "what the sh** f*** happened to everybody else?"

Because they're KILLfish, duh ... (3, Funny)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887622)

That which kills other fish only makes them stronger!

Re:Because they're KILLfish, duh ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887826)

Plus, you keep what you kill in the undersea.

Re:Because they're KILLfish, duh ... (1)

CrashandDie (1114135) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888200)

Lemme guess, the joke sounded a lot better in your head?

headlights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887630)

How long until deer evolve to not walk in front of my car?

Re:headlights (5, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888202)

How long until deer evolve to not walk in front of my car?

They already have. Those are in the woods, safe and sound. You're doing your part to help clean up the evolutionary dead ends.

A better title (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887652)

"All fish not immune to toxic sludge killed by said toxic sludge"

Because that is really what evolution in this context means. The fish didn't react to the toxic sludge and develop immunity to it; There was already a population of fish at least somewhat immune to the toxin, and due to them being the only survivors, the whole population living in the sludge now is immune.

Re:A better title (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37888012)

thats pretty much what evolution means in every context.

up the food chain (2)

tebee (1280900) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887670)

So what happens to the animals that eat them and that aren't immune to the PCB?

And you know who is at the top of the food chain ......

Re:up the food chain (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887746)

Sounds like humanity's just desserts for polluting the food web in the first place.

I call it environmental karma.

Re:up the food chain (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887806)

You think the robber barons responsible for the pollution eat anything fished out of the Hudson? Fat chance. If the toxins do work their way up the food chain, it'll be the peasant class that suffers for it.

Re:up the food chain (3, Funny)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887886)

Danmit. They'll poison my soylent green when the peasants eat the fish. Let them eat cake!

Re:up the food chain (3, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888064)

You think the robber barons responsible for the pollution eat anything fished out of the Hudson? Fat chance. If the toxins do work their way up the food chain, it'll be the peasant class that suffers for it.

Yes, but our Overlords will suffer when we perish and aren't around for them to exploit anymore.

We should eat these fish just to spite them. Quick, before they outlaw it!

Re:up the food chain (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888052)

Sounds like humanity's just desserts for polluting the food web in the first place.

You eat fish for dessert?

Re:up the food chain (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887772)

Cthulu?

Re:up the food chain (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887774)

Well maybe among our 7 billion there are enough breeding pairs that are also resistant. The way we're running the world we might find out.

Re:up the food chain (2)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887786)

So what happens to the animals that eat them and that aren't immune to the PCB?

Much like how Sharks are resistant to cancer and eating their fins will "transfer the ability to you"; so will eating Killifish transfer PCB immunity to you.

Killifish will now become a high priced delicacy in China. Or as we like to call it, operation payback.

Re:up the food chain (3, Interesting)

GuldKalle (1065310) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887810)

If we ignore humans for a second, the next link in the food chain will either develop PCB resistance or learn not to eat that species. And then, the fish may use this poison actively as a defense mechanism.
Oh evolution, you are cool!

Re:up the food chain (1)

tebee (1280900) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887878)

Oh evolution, you are cool!

Yep it sure is - Now can some what explain to me why the F*ck 40% of a supposed advanced nation still deny it's existence ?

Or do we wait for a time were either their god sends them a sign that they should believe in it or there is some subtle change in the chance of their offspring surviving such that they eventually die off - though then we won't get the satisfaction of telling them they were wrong.

Re:up the food chain (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37888088)

Yep it sure is - Now can some what explain to me why the F*ck 40% of a supposed advanced nation still deny it's existence ?

People who reject analytical though are easier to control so it is in the best interest of the powers that be to promote superstition among the proletariat.

Re:up the food chain (1)

Leuf (918654) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887996)

Many, many years ago, the killfish simply decided to evolve into man and create PCBs, so it could use them as a defense mechanism. Which is a pretty stupid idea, when you think about it. But what do you expect from a fish?

Re:up the food chain (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887946)

I suppose those animals would be fucked. Oh hey!

Re:up the food chain (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888024)

So what happens to the animals that eat them and that aren't immune to the PCB?

Depends - have you had the new PCB-binding protein spliced in yet?

Solved Problem (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887694)

Problem solved!

Douglas Adams was right (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887706)

Soon totally new organisms will crawl out of that river and demand welfare and voting rights.

Re:Douglas Adams was right (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887906)

Soon totally new organisms will crawl out of that river and demand welfare and voting rights.

Not unless they're white.

River? (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888074)

They're in my fridge right now!

Conservative Idealism verified by Science! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887708)

Fish Evolve Immunity To Toxic Sludge

If fish can do it, then it should be no problem for humans. You left wing environmentalists lose again. We Conservatives can pollute and know there is nothing wrong with it. Again, more evidence promoting the Conservative lifestyle.

Re:Conservative Idealism verified by Science! (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888008)

Fish Evolve Immunity To Toxic Sludge

If fish can do it, then it should be no problem for humans. You left wing environmentalists lose again. We Conservatives can pollute and know there is nothing wrong with it. Again, more evidence promoting the Conservative lifestyle.

Excellent. We're going to put all of you at the bottom of the Hudson river where you can munch on PCBs and other fun substances. In a couple of million years you might get back on land.

Re:Conservative Idealism verified by Science! (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888110)

Fish Evolve Immunity To Toxic Sludge

If fish can do it, then it should be no problem for humans. You left wing environmentalists lose again. We Conservatives can pollute and know there is nothing wrong with it. Again, more evidence promoting the Conservative lifestyle.

But Hippies screw around a lot more [wikipedia.org] , so we'll be the ones that evolve the immunity first.

Also, what with global warming and all that (GWAAT), we'll be running around nekkid all the time, and do even more breeding than we did back in the sixties.

Dumping on fish (4, Interesting)

kanto (1851816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887714)

Even though a single evolutionary change can mean the difference between living and dying I would think it also effect everything else, especially when it has to do with metabolism. In this case the fishs' genes have found a local maxima, so to say, that makes them resistant to PCB; nobody knows what evolutionary possibilities they've sacrificed and what it does to them in the long run.

Re:Dumping on fish (1)

greenreaper (205818) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887952)

The article suggests that the change really isn't that big. In fact, the summary is a little misleading, as they have a very good idea of why the fish are surviving.

A chilling fact (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887728)

This is gonna make it much harder to finally wipe them out.

Survival of the fittest, NOT evolution (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887730)

This is simply a case of fish that have a certain trait mating and passing on that trait to offspring, not a case of spontaneous evolution.

Re:Survival of the fittest, NOT evolution (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887754)

This is simply a case of fish that have a certain trait mating and passing on that trait to offspring, not a case of spontaneous evolution.

But thats what evolution is. A small fraction of those traits will have come from mutations, not from the previous generation.

Re:Survival of the fittest, NOT evolution (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887766)

Not spontaneous? Obviously it's a random mutation causing a difference in biology was selected by environmental pressure. Evolution works.

Re:Survival of the fittest, NOT evolution (1)

hipp5 (1635263) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887768)

This is simply a case of fish that have a certain trait mating and passing on that trait to offspring, not a case of spontaneous evolution.

That is evolution...

Re:Survival of the fittest, NOT evolution (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888040)

That is evolution...

I'm glad to see somebody was awake in Freshman biology class.

Re:Survival of the fittest, NOT evolution (5, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887784)

Evolution is essentially the same thing as survival of the fittest followed by passing its traits on to the offspring because it enabled the fittest to reproduce more or live long enough to reproduce... and over time, the offspring with that trait will begin outnumber other members of its species without the trait because they have a better chance of survival. Also, spontaneous evolution is an oxymoron.

"Why the killifish survive is a mystery" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887752)

Why or how? *facepalm-slashdot-editors*

In a PCB-laden world... (1)

rbrander (73222) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887770)

...only they will be healthy. I, for one, welcome our new piscine masters.

I'll wait until I hear from Al on this one (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887778)

I'll wait until I hear from Al on this one. everyone knows Al Gore is the only trusted opinion when it comes to anything environmental. From global Warming, to Spotted Left Foot Owl/Squirrel Hybrids, he is the real leader in the field.

Re:I'll wait until I hear from Al on this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37888004)

But there are times where he's way out in left field, in more ways than one.

cookoo canary (5, Insightful)

epine (68316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887798)

It says a lot about PCB distribution and signal strength if multiple species have evolved responses over sub-century time frames.

It was convenient while it lasted for the fish who ingested our industrial waste stream to grow carbuncles and remove themselves from the human menu by simple visual inspection. But I guess we're heading back to the days where the host takes a brave first bite, and all the guests applaud if dinner proceeds. We'll all be double checking the Russian royal penumbra to ensure our host doesn't carry any midichlorians of Rasputin lineage.

Canaries in the coal mine all the way up the food chain. Tag, you're it.

See? It all works out in the end. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37887802)

These trivial problems like "pollution" have a way of fixing themselves.

You make yourself look silly when... (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887858)

...you refer to selection as evolution. Selection is well understood, and pretty much everyone from the most fundamental creationist to the most outspoken evolutionist will agree on the fact that when a species is faced with an unavoidable situation in which most of them will be killed off, only those that exhibit traits allowing them to survive will persist to pass on their genes. If it can be demonstrated that not a single one of them had that trait previously, then that would be interesting, to be sure, but proving that is nigh impossible.

Misspelling the word "they" in the summary doesn't help your credibility either.

So selection is accepted by creationists? (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888098)

If so, all they need to accept now is the fact that random gene mutations happen, and they'll accept evolution as actually happening. The starting point and the origin may be still debatable, but I dare say that it's hard for creationists to deny actual evolution happening on this planet as we speak, and in the past.

Re:You make yourself look silly when... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888144)

...you refer to selection as evolution. Selection is well understood, and pretty much everyone from the most fundamental creationist to the most outspoken evolutionist will agree on the fact that when a species is faced with an unavoidable situation in which most of them will be killed off, only those that exhibit traits allowing them to survive will persist to pass on their genes

And everyone from the most fundamental creationist to the least fundamental creationist will continue to deny reality long after anyone who isn't a member of their cult accepts it.

Re:You make yourself look silly when... (5, Interesting)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888148)

Repeat after me: "Evolution does not work that way".

Evolution isn't something that magically allows plants and animals to adapt to a specific set of circumstances, that is an entirely random process. This mutation probably happened decades or centuries ago (or possibly even *due* to the PCBs, which would be ironic but difficult to prove) and has now, as you've said, been brought to prominence because all the fish without it have died off due to the high levels of PCBs in the water.

The fish *have* evolved immunity to the toxic sludge, but it's not a causative statement and hopefully wasn't intended as such.

IOW, the others just died from the PCB (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887868)

IOW, the others just died from the PCB and the ones that we have now are the survivors. As per Darwin prediction. Excellent, in a marauding way.

Re:IOW, the others just died from the PCB (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888056)

the reason this is interesting (or, moreso than what we've long observed...) is that it's an animal, as others have pointed out. Mere selection isn't enough; that implies there was already, without the toxis sludge, fish swimming around who had the natural resistence to it. The reality is that our DNA is more complicated than that, and it instead seems designed (err...apologies, truly the best word for it) to respond to stress by not just having some sort of random mutation and hoping for the best...but instead to have mutations that benefit them. This happens far more often than the random mutations that would have just happened to been better suited to the changing environment. Meaning - something other than Darwin. Yes, natural selection has a big impact. But sometimes - especially in short periods of time - darwinian evolution is not at all sufficient to maintain a system, or explain the changes that take place.

Something broken doesn't mean evolution (0)

Obble (1680532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887908)

What bad science. This is just another article pushing evolution as the theory of how everything works.

I read about these fish about a 2 weeks ago, Here a link to a online version if you want to read it. http://creation.com/rapid-tomcod-evolution [creation.com]

Basically the fish are an example of mutations and natural selection. The damage genes in the fish make it better suited to it's environment but it doesn't show it getting more complex, actually the opposite, a weaker fish. But you dont get published without towing the line of Evolution.
Notice how the mutations are limited to the Hudson area. The fish are less fit than the wild fish in the oceans.

(I define evolution as change going up hill, or as to quote a catch parse, "goo to you via zoo". I do not defined it as "things changes", as Natural Selection & Mutations cover that area already.)

Of course I will be modded down as always, I just thought that a different view should be presented, take it or leave it, its up to you.

Re:Something broken doesn't mean evolution (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37887962)

Basically the fish are an example of mutations and natural selection. The damage genes in the fish make it better suited to it's environment but it doesn't show it getting more complex, actually the opposite, a weaker fish. But you dont get published without towing the line of Evolution. Notice how the mutations are limited to the Hudson area. The fish are less fit than the wild fish in the oceans.

How do you think evolution produces different species? You have the same species in 2 different areas. The conditions change in one area or favor certain traits over others. Eventually, the animals in that area evolve into a different species. You cannot say that one species is weaker that the other. What you claim to be the "stronger"fish would not survive in the Hudson, while these "weaker" ones can. Each one is stronger than the other in their respective environments.

Re:Something broken doesn't mean evolution (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888132)

(I define evolution as change going up hill, or as to quote a catch parse, "goo to you via zoo". I do not defined it as "things changes", as Natural Selection & Mutations cover that area already.)

Too bad your definition isn't the same one as the rest of the world's. YOU don't get to create definitions that suite your limited understanding of the world.

Go do some reading and then come back and talk at the next thread.

An excuse to dump more PCB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37888014)

More than a study, I think this is just an excuse to lower the standards and dump more pollution into the river.

Sorry, but every change in the environment has significant changes in many factors of life, marine or ground.

Only time (1)

wolfheart111 (2496796) | more than 2 years ago | (#37888042)

It's only a matter of time before we experience the same effects. Its kind of the like the "bird in the mine" What happens to our fellow world companions will soon happen to us. Thank You

Unholy Combination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37888176)

Now the evolutionists and the anti-environmentalists will get together. This will mean the anti-evolution people will have to adopt an environmental stance.

Quick, somebody play The World Turned Upside Down.

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