BELLINGHAM – University of California at Berkeley Professor of Integrative Biology Tyrone Hayes will speak on “From Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads and Men” as part of Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment speaker series at 3 p.m., Friday, May 21 at WWU’s Communications Facility room 125.
The event is free and open to the public.
In his discussion, Hayes will describe how the atrazine, a herbicide, is a potent endocrine disrupter that chemically castrates and feminizes exposed male amphibians. Exposure to the herbicide also results in neural damage and hyperactivity and induces a hormonal stress response that leads to retarded growth and development, and immune suppression.
Pesticides like atrazine are ubiquitous, persistent contaminants and, though more pronounced in amphibians, the effects described above occur in other vertebrates such as fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. These observations demonstrate the critical impact that pesticides have on environmental health.
Hayes grew up in
Hayes said an interest in frog hormones sparked his interest in his current field work.
"Surprisingly, frog hormones are very similar, and in some cases identical, to human hormones," Hayes said. "What affects a frog may also affect humans."
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