Tag Archives: toxicology

Evolution: over and over again, but with a twist

Some of the topics and studies I’ve written about (fish and PCBs, salamanders and road run-off, for example) share an interesting phenomenon which is the evolution of resistance to the same toxicant but in disparate populations. This seems to occur even when evolution occurs fairly rapidly (or perhaps especially when evolution is rapid?!).  While the […]

It’s a hard-shelled life: calcium ion overload?

A couple of years ago, as I began exploring more broadly the role of toxicity in evolution, I struck up an email conversation with geologist John Saul. In a nice techno-age moment, we kept up the correspondence, me from my favorite coffee shop in Montague, and he from wherever he was in Paris.  Of course […]

Some use for “old genes” in a modern world?

Ever since a couple of colleagues and I foolishly thought we could actually transplant caged killifish in the wilds of New Jersey —  a contaminated Newark backwater to be more exact (within a week the fish were gone, cages and all – stolen) I’ve been interested in the incredibly resistant little minnow. Not only can it withstand […]

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

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 […]

Welcome to Evolution in a Toxic World

In our rapidly changing chemical world, where a steady stream of new chemicals enter into the environment each year, there is no better way to understand our current chemical predicament than to explore the evolutionary history of life’s response to toxic chemicals. As a toxicologist I’ve wondered how our bodies react to chemicals, whether they […]