Thursday, February 17, 2005

130: Evolutionary responses to pollutants

news @ - 'Pollutants' in whale blubber are naturally produced - Sea creatures make chemicals similar to those spewed out by human factories.:

Reddy says there are larger implications. "We can start to think about how humans and animals and plants have evolved over millions of years. We've only manufactured these compounds since the 1930s. The way we respond to these compounds might have been programmed over many generations." It might explain, he suggests, why some enzymes in the natural world can break down these kinds of molecules.
A sponge produces chemicals like those produced industrially. Whales accumulate the natural form of the toxin. Scientists immediately look at the evolutionary implications.