Interesting News Feature: Joe Thornton, complexity, and the evolution of the steroid hormone receptors

https://www-pls.llnl.gov/Protein biochemist Joe Thornton has done some really cool work. Not only did he write Pandora’s Poison about chlorine use, toxicity and current regulatory policy but more recently he’s shed some light on evolution of the estrogen receptor. In doing so Thornton provides a great example of why we ought to pay attention to evolution – even as toxicologists or regulators.

Thornton’s work provides some insight into the promiscuity of the estrogen receptor. A characteristic which, in the pre-endocrine disruptor age, would have been viewed with some skepticism (remember the old chastity belt we once thought was worn all steroid hormone receptors ).  For more about Thornton and his work read: Prehistoric proteins: Raising the dead, by Helen Pearson.

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