Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Stressed Fish

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Stressed Fish

Article excerpt

A University of British Columbia (UBC) zoologist has discovered a new corticosteroid hormone in the sea lamprey, an eel-like fish and one of the earliest vertebrates, dating back 500 million years. These findings have shed light on the evolution of steroid hormones and may help conservation and management efforts for lampreys.

"This new discovery has significant scientific implications and application for lamprey conservation," says principal investigator and lead author David Close, an assistant professor in the UBC Department of Zoology and director of the Aboriginal Fisheries Research Unit at UBC's Fisheries Centre.

Close and colleagues at Michigan State University identified a corticosteroid hormone--called 11-deoxycortisol--in the sea lamprey that plays dual roles in balancing ions and regulating stresses, similar to aldosterone and cortisol in humans. The findings are published online in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.

Native to the Pacific Coast of North America and Asia, Pacific lampreys are an important ceremonial and subsistence food for aboriginal peoples in the Columbia River basin. …

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