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Posted Fri Jul 9 2010: from New Scientist:
Prawns on Prozac, whatever next? Crabs on cocaine?
Second-hand Prozac in waste water could be sending shrimps' swimming patterns haywire, making them easy targets for predators. Alex Ford and Yasmin Guler at the University of Portsmouth in the UK collected local shrimp, Echinogammarus marinus, and observed their behaviour in the lab. The shrimp were exposed to different levels of the antidepressant fluoextine - or Prozac - to test whether the presence of the drug would affect the way the shrimp respond to light. In humans, Prozac acts as a mood enhancer by prolonging the effect of serotonin at nerve terminals. The shrimp, on the other hand, responded to increased serotonin levels by swimming towards the light (Aquatic Toxicology DOI:10.1016/j/aquatox.2010.05.019). The pair found that shrimps exposed to the same Prozac levels present in waste water that flows to rivers and estuaries are five times more likely to swim toward the light instead of away from it.
[Read more stories about: ecosystem interrelationships, contamination, pharmwater]

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