Discover Magazine Cites Work by Gore
Research conducted by University of Texas professors Andrea Gore and David Crews has been included on Discover magazine's list of the "Top 100 Science Stories of 2007."
Gore is a professor of pharmacology and toxicology in the College of Pharmacy, and Crews is the Ashbel Smith Professor of Integrative Biology in the College of Natural Sciences. Their research was the only University of Texas science project to make the list.
The research was #22 on the top 100 list. Gore and Crews found that pesticides and other chemicals that disrupt hormones can affect not only rats that come into contact with them, but might also affect mating behavior in later generations.
The findings were published earlier this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The university researchers discovered that female rats avoid males whose great-grandmothers were exposed to a common fruit crop fungicide, preferring instead males whose ancestors were uncontaminated. Their research shows that environmental contamination could affect the evolution of wildlife through changes in mating behavior.
They found that female rats could tell the difference between male descendants of rats that had or had not been exposed to the fungicide vinclozolin. The females strongly preferred to associate with males descended from unexposed rats.
"Even across generations, your attractiveness as a mate is decreased if your great-grandmother has been exposed to environmental chemicals," Gore said. "hat will have an impact on your ability to reproduce and could take you out of the gene pool."
Read the original news release on the research.