Aquatic Prozac

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October 18, 2012
Kathy Thornton’s summer research project explored the possible effects of water-borne pharmaceuticals on fish behavior.

Working with Professor Martin Connaughton, Kathy Thornton ’12 looked at the active ingredient of Prozac (fluoxetine), which is found in measurable quantities in wastewater effluent, on the startle response and exploratory behavior of zebrafish.

Our data suggested that the drug can make fish less diligent in their responses to startle stimuli and increases their exploratory behavior. These changes in behavior might make an exposed fish more likely to encounter a predator and less likely to survive an encounter with one.

Last modified on Oct. 18th, 2012 at 3:09pm by Marcia Landskroener.