Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Delicate "Boys" - Aren't They!

A great friend and relative recently sent me an email about two U of Calgary professors who have discovered that up to 90% of the minnows in the Red Deer and Oldman rivers are female, when the expected number would be 55-60%.  (A major research project while I was an undergrad was a water analysis of the headwaters of the Oldman River.)  They suggest that more research is needed, but that indications are that chemicals in these rivers are affecting male hormones.  That reminded me of a documentary called, I think, "Where Have All The Boys Gone?" about a similar dearth of male children in a Sarnia, Ontario, area in close proximity to petrochemical plants.  And to hearken back even further, I remember reading somewhere that the rate of mutations in human sperm jumped when Neanderthals or similar gents started to wear primitive clothing (furs no doubt) - thus raising the testicular temperature several notches.  All of which points to males as being the weaker sex in one sense - we are more easily adversely affected by environmental changes.  Now could this have something to do with the fact that in high school there always seemed to be 2 guys for every girl, but now I'm told that the situation is reversed?  Hmmm ...  Glad we're drinking well water out here!