A forthcoming report in the journal Science
finds that wild European perch exposed to the popular anxiety medication Oxazepam
tend to be antisocial, wander away from the safety of their group, and devour food more quickly than peers, "all behaviors that could have profound ecological consequences
Further research is needed to determine whether oxazepam and similar drugs are actually causing fish to change their behavior in the wild. If so, profound ecological effects could result, the authors say. For example, fish relieved of their normal stressors—say, of being eaten—could wipe out the population of algae-eating water fleas, which could lead to an algal bloom. On the flip side, anxiety-free fish are likely to be much more vulnerable to predators, Brodin says, suggesting that the overall effect will likely depend on whether perch are the top predator in their environment.
All of this indicates a growing need for updated water filtration and treatment systems with the ability to capture and contain pharmaceuticals released by humans into the water system. Drugs "don't mysteriously go away after we excrete them," says Jerker Fick
, a toxicologist at Umeå University in Sweden and co-author of the new study.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
If you don’t want to get stuck footing the bill for a hit and run, this dashboard-mounted camera offers up to 2K resolution to make sure you always have a reliable witness, and it’s available in the Boing Boing Store for 30% off it’s usual price.The PapaGo mounts unobtrusively to your windshield to see everything […]
While some people still maintain that everything in Apple’s walled garden “just works” and is immune to the rampant malware of the Windows world, the reality is different. The Mac’s growing market share has made it a much more viable target for malicious actors, and its built-in tools aren’t always enough to fix things. Drive […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]