Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

'Zombie' Hormone Disruptors Rise From the Dead

Soulskill posted 1 year,24 days | from the also-vulnerable-to-shotguns dept.

Biotech 67

ananyo writes "Hormone-disrupting chemicals may be far more prevalent in lakes and rivers than previously thought. Environmental scientists have discovered that although these compounds are often broken down by sunlight, they can regenerate at night, returning to life like zombies (abstract). Endocrine disruptors — pollutants that unbalance hormone systems — are known to harm fish, and there is growing evidence linking them to health problems in humans, including infertility and various cancers 'Risk assessments have been built on the basis that light exposure is enough to break down these products,' adds Laura Vandenberg, an endocrinologist at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst who was not involved in the study. 'This work undermines that idea completely.'"

cancel ×

67 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Interesting... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,24 days | (#44970593)

I assume that there simply weren't as many endocrine disruptors in the wild, so it was less of an issue over evolutionary time; but for (modestly complex) chemicals to be photosensitive enough to degrade; but suitably structurally favored to have more than a remote probability of being created by the recombination of their breakdown products is rather interesting...

Would it be in any way adaptive for hormones themselves(which disruptors are often very similar to, hence the ability to neatly disrupt the endocrine system) to have this level of durability, or is it much more likely that it's mere chance, biologically irrelevant until we started pumping the things out on an industrial scale?

Other perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44970787)

If these things which are "broken down by sunlight, they can regenerate at night," then it's also possible that they are, to some extent, naturally occuring (most of these aren't large compounds) instances will also self-assemble, and therefore the assumption that there should be none at all present in nature may be flawed.

Re:Other perspective (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,24 days | (#44970925)

True, though it wouldn't be rocket surgery (and I'd hope they would already have done so) to establish 'baseline' values by looking at water without known inputs from agricultural or industrial sources, and comparing those baselines with ones that do. Shoddy work gets done in science, as anywhere; but 'negative controls' aren't exactly an alien concept.

Re:Other perspective (3, Insightful)

minstrelmike (1602771) | 1 year,24 days | (#44970983)

Expecting "none at all naturally" is not realistic. OTOH, having lots more of the chemicals, whether combined or not, in the streams and lakes is a problem iof they are endocrine disruptors.
It's like global warming. We need carbon dioxide. But too much of a good thing is too much.

I find it interesting that the default assumption of everyone looking at chemicals is that they break down and then never recombine.
Unlike trees in a forest, chemicals apparently combine whether anyone is watching or not. (It's too hard to see at night ;-)

Re:Other perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44973847)

"I find it interesting that the default assumption of everyone looking at chemicals is that they break down and then never recombine."

An example of wishful or convenient thinking. Humans love to pay attention to the upside of something, but prefer to ignore the downside of something. Especially true when devices, inventions, tech, etc.

Re:Other perspective (1)

judoguy (534886) | 1 year,24 days | (#44974465)

I find this far more worrying than global warming. Hormone disruption can have a profoundly powerful effect on our bodies. Right now, not perhaps decades in the future.

If we are going to worry about pollution and it's effects on our wellbeing, let's look hard at this right now.

Of course this isn't politically correct today. Global warming "prevention" fosters a totalitarian state. Flooding the drinking water with estrogen from the massive use of birth control pills might be a problem but that can't be mentioned without being labeled a misogynist.

Re:Other perspective (1)

psithurism (1642461) | 1 year,24 days | (#44976275)

Birth control is a tiny fragment of the endocrine disruptors that are being dumped out there and estrogen is a chemical that's already present due to many natural processes. Hormones (Testosterone for older men, hormone replacement for older women, anti-depressants all hugely used by the US at least), are also only a small fraction of the problem. Agriculture causes all sorts of crap specifically designed to screw up wildlife that would otherwise attack crops, or to create the mutant animals that are so very tasty. Manufacturing waste...So yeah, it'd be kinda misogynistic to say that world's problems come from some women who want to regulate their cycles.

I'm not saying I'm innocent of all this stuff either; I don't only buy food from local farmers who are contaminating local run-off, I grow my own, and I love mutant cow meat, and most of my friends and family and pets are on some sort of environmentally unfriendly medications.

Re:Other perspective (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,24 days | (#44976941)

Being concerned with endocrine disruptors has no 'political correctness' problem. Hell, being worried about bisphenol A was practically a lifestyle choice just recently. Now, if you think that your primary problem is hormonal contraceptives, you might have an accuracy problem; but there are broad swaths of commonly used chemicals that make endocrinologists nervous. They tend to have influential users who really appreciate the shareholder value of being able to just dump them in the nearest waterway, so good luck with any progress in the area; but it isn't hard to find science types who will back you up.

Re:Other perspective (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,24 days | (#44976531)

It clearly isn't a safe default assumption (since it was wrong in this case); but biochemistry is loaded with "Oh, yeah, this molecule is a pain in the ass to synthesize, unless you have this totally elegant catalytic protein, as organisms that use it do" and has fewer well known examples of 'Eh, breaks down under UV; but it'll be fine once the radiation stops'.

There are chemical equilibria designed explicitly for that purpose (self-darkening sunglasses contain one such, whose UV-exposure product is blackish and whose default product is transparent); but it is a bit of a surprise to see a biologically active molecule doing it.

Re:Interesting... (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971081)

The issue may be that while they are broken down, they aren't broken down to their constituent elements. Or even to naturally occurring compounds, it's more that the products of degradation are supposed to be [relatively] inert.

Re:Interesting... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971691)

, it's more that the products of degradation are supposed to be [relatively] inert.

I think this is the key. As FFF said, it's interesting that the apparent activation energy to flip between active and inactive is fairly small. The good news is that it should be 'easy' to treat runoff such that you really do destroy the bioactivity - you probably don't need large amounts of energy to do so. The bad news is that dumping metric shit tons of the stuff in a small, slow flowing creek isn't going to solve the problem and you will have to build a treatment plant.

Farmers hate that.

What some aspiring organic chemist needs to do is figure out a low energy synthesis between hormone disrupters and similar molecules and some chemical that has psychoactive properties. From my hazy memory of organic chem, I think that the indole nucleus is used in both hormones and amphetamine like drugs. Breaking bad on steroids, so to speak.

Re:Interesting... (1)

mspohr (589790) | 1 year,24 days | (#44972129)

I'm not sure that it would be "easy" to treat runoff. The article points out that the synthetic steroids are changed in daylight but then reform at night. It also points out that we can't assume that the "broken down" molecules are safe. Currently they only test for the specific original molecule but it could be that the broken down molecules are also bioactive.
They recommend using a bioassay (which tests the water on living systems) rather than just a chemical assay for the original compound.
Another problem in treating the runoff is that it comes from cattle roaming farms of many acres and seeps into the ground. It's not just a single pipe with effluent.

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44973291)

What's the cost of banning this stuff? It's banned in the EU, so it's clear that it doesn't kill the industry, though it certainly will shift more consumption to vegetables and other meats. I'm not sure that's a bad thing for society, either.

Re:Interesting... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,24 days | (#44976925)

What's the cost of banning this stuff? It's banned in the EU, so it's clear that it doesn't kill the industry, though it certainly will shift more consumption to vegetables and other meats. I'm not sure that's a bad thing for society, either.

Depends on which ones you are talking about: 'Endocrine disruptor' is a very, very broad category, covering chemicals used in a whole bunch of industries, united only by the fact that their similarity to various endogenous hormones gives considerable reason for concern.

Re:Interesting... (1)

perceptual.cyclotron (2561509) | 1 year,24 days | (#44975599)

Close. Most stimulants are dopaminergic, which is a catecholamine and only has a single ring; (nor)epinephrine are also in that family. The indole backbone is in the tryptamines, including serotonin, and in psychotroptics like psilocybin. Also present in LSD, although given how monstrous that molecule is, it doesn't figure as prominently as a 'backbone'.

That said – I'm not sure we really want to seed our water with a substance that converts a broad family of small organic molecules into psychotropic compounds... Much as it certainly sounds like good fun, I suspect there might be unintended side effects...

Re:Interesting... (1)

lazy genes (741633) | 1 year,24 days | (#44977291)

Its all caused by road salts.

The chemical industry disavows this nonsense. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44970607)

Chemicals are your friends. Untested chemicals are your untested friends.

Re:The chemical industry disavows this nonsense. (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971377)

"Chemical industry" isn't a thing that exists, is it? Most of these are from agricultural run-off, aren't they? The article certainly seems to suggest that. What you're really hating is modern farming practices.

Re:The chemical industry disavows this nonsense. (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971903)

The modern farmer uses chemicals produced by chemical companies all over the place...

Re:The chemical industry disavows this nonsense. (2)

mrchaotica (681592) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971935)

"Chemical industry" isn't a thing that exists, is it?

Of course it is; the chemical industry makes all the chemicals that everybody else (including agriculture) uses. Major corporations include BASF, Dow and DuPont.

Re:The chemical industry disavows this nonsense. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,24 days | (#44976417)

"Chemical industry" isn't a thing that exists, is it?

Of course it is; the chemical industry makes all the chemicals that everybody else (including agriculture) uses. Major corporations include BASF, Dow and DuPont.

Let us not forget Monsanto, still the world's largest producer of a number of nasty compounds including glyphosphate.

Re:The chemical industry disavows this nonsense. (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | 1 year,24 days | (#44976839)

Glyphosate has been off patent for while. The Chinese produce most of it and there are trade cases based on dumping it on export markets now.

Re:The chemical industry disavows this nonsense. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,24 days | (#44978333)

Glyphosate has been off patent for while.

And yet, Monsanto and their worldwide subsidiaries are/is still collectively the single largest producer.

Re:The chemical industry disavows this nonsense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44971693)

I too wear a condom every time I go for a swim in a great American lake. Both heads.

Tired of Zombies (2)

TWX (665546) | 1 year,24 days | (#44970623)

Anyone else getting tired of zombies? They're starting to appear in bad corporate cell-phone ads now.

It was cute for awhile, but there seem to be people taking it seriously enough that they're changing their lifestyles based on the idea. It's silly.

Re:Tired of Zombies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44970713)

Yeah, I'm switching to revenants.

Captcha: anathema

Re:Tired of Zombies (1)

JDevers (83155) | 1 year,24 days | (#44970879)

That is so last year... 2013->the year of the wight!

Re:Tired of Zombies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44970745)

The other day I caught a bit of a documentary on the zombie craze. It ended with the head of some zombie research institute saying something along the lines that deep down, they view the zombie appocolypse as a metaphor for any disaster, manmade or natural. The same tactics, supplies, and training you need for a zombie outbreak can also be used to survive another hurricane Katrina.

Re:Tired of Zombies (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,24 days | (#44970969)

The other day I caught a bit of a documentary on the zombie craze. It ended with the head of some zombie research institute saying something along the lines that deep down, they view the zombie appocolypse as a metaphor for any disaster, manmade or natural. The same tactics, supplies, and training you need for a zombie outbreak can also be used to survive another hurricane Katrina.

Zombie survival fantasies are also about the most tactful way to work through your serious interest in gunning down shambling hordes of your abhuman inferiors, without attracting social condemnation or law-enforcement interest.

This is not to say that all zombie enthusiasts are doing this, many are indeed, harmless LARPer types who are guilty only of perhaps not knowing when a premise is no longer amusing; but if you do happen to suspect that the Racial Holy War is looming, and negroid looter swarms will emerge from their slums to march on the exurbs any day now, a little fretting about 'zombies' is a good way to get your feet wet without making yourself a total pariah in polite company.

Re:Tired of Zombies (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44971975)

i don't know how seriously or what parts to take how seriously, but there is truth in your answer. this is how i view the whole zombie apocalypse thing. however, i'm not thinking about the zombies as a metaphor for any particular ethnicity. they are a metaphor for the dangerous, desperate, and belligerent masses that would most definitely plague the world after a great cataclysm has stripped the world of its infrastructure and civilized veneer.

you may notice a common theme among many zombie programs. it is often subtle but it was pretty obvious in 28 Days that Humans were more dangerous than zombies.

Re:Tired of Zombies (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | 1 year,24 days | (#44973237)

Funny, but time and time again, the substance of your post is proven wrong. It wasn't the people needing help who were the killers, it was the police "protecting" white areas of the area who gunned down innocent people looking for shelter. Not just katrina either, but in Sandy too. I'm convinced that those who prepare for such events will kill indescriminantly and feel good about doing so.

Re:Tired of Zombies (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,24 days | (#44973157)

Sure, play the race card. Bigot.

I'm guessing you never had to protect your loved ones from looters. Get bent fool.

Re:Tired of Zombies (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44971013)

The same tactics, supplies, and training you need for a zombie outbreak can also be used to survive another hurricane Katrina.

Maybe if you work for the New Orleans Police Department [wikipedia.org] . The rest of us don't really need to be shooting people after a flood. We just need food, clothing, and shelter.

Re:Tired of Zombies (1)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971351)

Just who do you think the zombies are in this metaphor? Ask yourself, who in that scenario was most desperately in need of brains?

Re:Tired of Zombies (2)

Applekid (993327) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971687)

The other day I caught a bit of a documentary on the zombie craze. It ended with the head of some zombie research institute saying something along the lines that deep down, they view the zombie appocolypse as a metaphor for any disaster, manmade or natural. The same tactics, supplies, and training you need for a zombie outbreak can also be used to survive another hurricane Katrina.

It's also a plot convenience to allow the main characters to massacre hundreds of humans without people crying over the race, nationality, or color of the cannon fodder.

Re:Tired of Zombies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44973187)

Except in hurricaine Katrina, instead of shooting masses of mindless crazed zombies/negroes determined to kill for their food, the police murdered innocent people trying to escape a disaster.

Re:Tired of Zombies (1)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971307)

Yeah, but the zombie meme keeps getting back up and shambling around the internet looking for braaaaaaainnnnnns.

Re:Tired of Zombies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44971583)

I think it's trendy click bait to say "zombie"!!! If regeneration is occurring at a molecular level in a microscopic organism, the thing isn't dead and never was.

Re:Tired of Zombies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44971745)

They were comparing their own customers to zombies. I thought it was great irony.

Re:Tired of Zombies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44972081)

Nah it's not just you, I'm also a Hipster.

Possibly Greatly Overblown (3, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | 1 year,24 days | (#44970763)

There a lot of serious problems with doing risk assessment for endocrine disruptors.

The first is that there is no known mechanism for most of the effects reported in the literature. Without this mechanism a real science based approach is impossible.

The second issue (and a general problem for that matter) is that many of the studies reported turn out not to be reproducible.

The following articles give some insight into this, relative to BPA which has been (possibly without justification a cause celebre):

http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2013/0102-previous-studies-on-toxic-effects-of-bpa-couldn%E2%80%99t-be-reproduced-says-mu-research-team/ [missouri.edu]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21438738 [nih.gov]

Re:Possibly Greatly Overblown (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971033)

"The first is that there is no known mechanism for most of the effects reported in the literature. Without this mechanism a real science based approach is impossible."

That's a bit strong, isn't it? We've spent how long now have either absolutely no clue or fancy-dubiously-verifiable-math to explain this 'gravity' nonsense, without appreciable harm to many of the disciplines that include it as a major part of their theoretical structure...

Sure, having to do your testing along the lines of statistical survey-and-infer isn't ideal; but it's hardly handwaving nescience. Doesn't mean that all science done that way is worth anything, any of it could be and some probably is crap; but (if anything) given the vast universe of possibility, statistical inference work is one of your few hopes of narrowing down the areas where you need to dig in and go hunting for mechanisms.

Re:Possibly Greatly Overblown (2)

nomadic (141991) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971131)

A science-based approach is certainly possible based on empirical studies; 300 years of successful science has shown us that; look, for example, at John Snow's discovery of the source of the 1854 cholera outbreak in London (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1854_Broad_Street_cholera_outbreak). He didn't know the mechanism of contagion but he didn't have to in order to stop the outbreak.

Anyway, there is plenty known about the mechanisms of endocrine disruptors, specifically that they can mimic endogenous hormones and block them from binding with cells. An article calling into question the population effects of a single one -- BPA -- does not mean past experiments on other disruptors are not reproducible.

Re:Possibly Greatly Overblown (1)

tgibbs (83782) | 1 year,24 days | (#44973379)

The problem is that the concentrations of these agents in the environment tend to be extraordinarily low compared to the hormone levels that are normally present in the body, so it is hard to understand how they compete appreciably with the natural hormones. That doesn't mean it's impossible for these substances to have biological effects, but some explanation is needed beyond "they can mimic hormones."

Re:Possibly Greatly Overblown (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44974253)

The problem here is that the literature for laypeople is misleading. They don't "mimic" hormones at all, and most ligands do not "compete" in the way you suggest. There are countless examples of chemicals which are orders of magnitude more powerful than the corresponding natural ligands acting upon the same target (LSD for example), and even more examples of agents which act disruptively at extremely low concentrations through mechanisms which the body may or may not make use of (e.g., TTX blocking fast sodium channels, TCDD acting on aryl hydrocarbon receptors).

Endocrine disruptors could for example bind to nuclear receptors with very high affinity, causing changes in genetic expression.

Re:Possibly Greatly Overblown (1)

tgibbs (83782) | 1 year,24 days | (#44974535)

Tetrodotoxin affinity is not all that high, just nanomolar. Same for LSD. And natural steroids have very high affinity for nuclear receptors, probably approaching the practical limits for small molecules. One possible mechanism of getting higher affinity is if a lipophilic compound acts in the membrane phase, since partitioning into the membrane could amplify the apparent potency by orders of magnitude. I have seen effects of a steroid down to low picomolar concentrations, perhaps by this mechanism (I think it's a membrane target), so I'm not excluding the possibility of ultra-high potency effects, but it does need to be explained.

Re:Possibly Greatly Overblown (1)

HiThere (15173) | 1 year,24 days | (#44976961)

That's not the ONLY way it's misleading. Most of the literature focuses on ONE pollutant. What exists in the wild is a mixture of several. Sometimes several subcritical doses of different drugs will produce an above critical effect. This is though to be one of the causes behind the coral and amphibian dieoffs. (Yes, a fungus is the proximate cause in the case of the amphibians, but exposure to a "safe" dose of a mixture of pollutants appears to have weakened their immune system to the point where it is often fatally weak.

Re:Possibly Greatly Overblown (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44973895)

...and the mechanism for how aspirin decreased pain and fever was unknown until...circa 1990 (plus or minus several or more years).

Re:Possibly Greatly Overblown (2)

mspohr (589790) | 1 year,24 days | (#44972179)

I think the mechanism is "endocrine disruptor". These synthetic chemicals mimic naturally occurring endocrines by binding to endocrine receptors. This has been clearly demonstrated. It is disingenuous to say that "there is no known mechanism" in the literature. There have been thousands of studies and there is a clear scientific consensus.

Re:Possibly Greatly Overblown (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | 1 year,24 days | (#44974361)

There is NOT a clear scientific consensus at all.

For example:

http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/114/1/1.full [oxfordjournals.org]

and:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21438738 [nih.gov]

The British Medical Research Council is not some Koch funded faux science organization. This group has supported or hosted over 50 Nobel Laureates in science and medicine including names like Fleming and Crick and Watson.

There is NO mechanism that accounts for the reports of these affects at the extremely low levels reported, and as the above article notes, efforts to reproduce these studies by national labs (not industry supported labs) are very often unsuccessful.

Wait, so the subject should have been (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44970959)

Skinny-dipping bad for reproduction, scientists say.

Far from accurate headline (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971017)

I like L4D and Resident Evil as much as the next person but this is an article about growth hormones, the cattle industry and how the byproducts don't dissipate as once believed. I guess if you want hits, just add the word zombie to a page.

Re:Far from accurate headline (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971337)

If you can post about zombies using bitcoins, you get four times as many hits. It multiplies.

Re:Far from accurate headline (1)

Qzukk (229616) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971399)

The NSA has zombies mining bitcoins!

Re:Far from accurate headline (1)

Antipater (2053064) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971481)

Even more if the zombies have chainsaws.

Disruptors? (1)

Gareth Iwan Fairclough (2831535) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971023)

Klingon or Romulan?

In all seriousness though, this is something that demands further investigation. Going skinny dipping, only for her to later turn over and say "no, I've got a headache" is a PITA at best.

Re:Disruptors? (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971747)

If your partner is drinking enough of the runoff to immediately change her (?) libido, both you and your partner have other, more pressing problems to worry about.

Solutions (1)

Dan East (318230) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971119)

I can think of two really simple solutions right off the top of my head. Pour lots of bleach in the water, or place bright full-spectrum lights around the lake to shine all night. Duh!

Makes you wonder (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971161)

Kind of makes you wonder if the breakdown products from this stuff can get into your body separately, and then combine there. Well, it makes me wonder. Maybe that's because I'm not a biologist, or maybe it's because I'm a pessimist.

Sunlight and night? (3, Informative)

TheCarp (96830) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971273)

Well here is what gets me... if they break down in sunlight, but then recombine without the light, well.... natural bodies of water tend not to be terribly clear. You don't have to go down far to not find all that much light, especially if the area itself isn't in direct sunlight....

So its likely that in many place, it doesn't even take "night", breakdown is likely only happening within a short distance of the surface.

Re:Sunlight and night? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971405)

Ultraviolet, the real chemical buster of our sun's output has substantially better penetrating power than visible light.

Re:Sunlight and night? (1)

disposable60 (735022) | 1 year,24 days | (#44971661)

Except in water.

Re:Sunlight and night? (1)

ruvablue (2571043) | 1 year,24 days | (#44976689)

Don't some water treatment facilities pass water through ultraviolet light? After all of that processing in the water company's equipment would those chemicals still re-combine [say like when it is in the underground pipes]?

Re:Sunlight and night? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,23 days | (#44979545)

Ultraviolet, the real chemical buster of our sun's output has substantially better penetrating power than visible light.

Except it doesn't. Visible light can penetrate meters into water, but almost all ultraviolet is absorbed in the first foot and converted into heat. The rest is absorbed in the second foot of water. Ultraviolet is also absorbed efficiently by water vapor in the atmosphere. The water molecules then emit infrared radiation.

Research is futile (1)

wijnands (874114) | 1 year,24 days | (#44973213)

Just like with pesticides that are known to wipe out bees, nothing will be done about this problem either. The corporate lobbyists own too many of your politicians.

Re:Research is futile (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | 1 year,24 days | (#44974037)

Just like with pesticides that are known to wipe out bees, nothing will be done about this problem either. The corporate lobbyists own too many of your politicians.

Except of course that the pesticides in question are not "known to wipe out bees." There are (recent) studies that suggest that they may contribute to Colony Collapse Disorder (something for which science has an alternate, proven, explanation, but which is serious enough to warrant continued examination of all potential causes). Does this mean they are safe to continue using without a care? No. What it does mean is that any use of them should be done with caution. The information I have seen is that these new findings about the pesticides in question suggest that commercial beekeepers should change some of their techniques (having to do with the way they get their hives ready for the first flowers of spring). There are further implications for how the pesticides are used, but the information about how the use should change is still sketchy.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?