. Space Travel News .




.
FLORA AND FAUNA
A new birth control vaccine helps reduce urban deer damage
by Staff Writers
Denver CO (SPX) Sep 02, 2011

GonaCon blocks a biological signal that triggers reproductive behavior in deer and many other mammals in temperate areas of the world. As day length decreases in autumn, the reproductive systems in these animals "turn on." Testosterone levels rise in males, and females go into estrus, or "heat." Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), produced in a gland at the base of the brain, issues the biochemical orders for increased production of the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Without GnRH, the body makes little or none of those hormones.

A new birth control vaccine for white-tailed deer - a growing nuisance in urban areas for gardens and landscaping - eliminates the dangerous reproductive behavior behind the annual autumn surge in automobile-deer collisions. The vaccine, just becoming commercially available in some states, was the topic of a report here at the 242nd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Named GonaCon, the vaccine also shows promise for reducing or eliminating some of the undesirable behaviors in household pets and farm animals that have not been spayed or neutered. Among them: scent-marking, fighting, caterwauling and wandering in cats, and aggressive behavior in horses.

That's because GonaCon blocks the action of the male and female sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen, that spark such behaviors. It also has potential applications in prairie dogs, wild horses and feral dogs.

David A. Goldade, who reported on the vaccine, said that blocking action is one of GonaCon's multiple advantages over other birth control methods developed to cope with the population explosion of white-tailed deer in many parts of the country.

In addition to the damage to gardens and expensive landscaping plants, deer in urban areas can attract mountain lions and other predators into residential areas. And on both urban and rural roads, 1.5 million deer-auto collisions kill at least 150 people annually and cause more than $1 billion in property damage.

"Other birth-control vaccines using porcine zona pellucida (PZP) also can prevent deer from producing offspring, but PZP-vaccinated animals still exhibit mating behaviors," Goldade explained. He is with the U. S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Wildlife Services National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) in Fort Collins, Colo., where GonaCon was developed.

"That opens the door to dangerous situations in which males chase females across the highway. With GonaCon, however, vaccinated deer don't even try to mate," Goldade continued.

Goldade explained that GonaCon blocks a biological signal that triggers reproductive behavior in deer and many other mammals in temperate areas of the world. As day length decreases in autumn, the reproductive systems in these animals "turn on."

Testosterone levels rise in males, and females go into estrus, or "heat." Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), produced in a gland at the base of the brain, issues the biochemical orders for increased production of the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Without GnRH, the body makes little or none of those hormones.

The GnRH vaccine induces the body to make antibodies against its own GnRH, thus destroying the signal for sex and inducing infertility in both males and females.

USDA studies with white-tailed deer and other animals - free-ranging California ground squirrels, captive Norway rats, domestic and feral swine and wild horses- established the effectiveness of a single injection of GnRH. The effects in penned white-tailed deer lasted up to five years without a booster vaccination.

To use the vaccine on wild deer populations, the researchers first had to register it with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). One requirement for registration is data on the concentration of the active ingredient, in this case, GnRH. Goldade's team developed a test using a standard laboratory technique called mass spectrometry to do just that.

GonaCon is the only EPA-registered multi-year, single-injection wildlife contraceptive for female white-tailed deer population control, but don't expect to see it on store shelves next to the deer and squirrel repellents. It also has to be registered in a state and must be administered by a USDA or state game and fish department staff member, who captures, tranquilizes and injects deer one by one. So far, only Maryland and New Jersey have approved it for use within their borders.

Related Links
American Chemical Society
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com




 

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
...
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries








. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle



FLORA AND FAUNA
First lizard genome sequenced
Boston MA (SPX) Sep 01, 2011
The green anole lizard is an agile and active creature, and so are elements of its genome. This genomic agility and other new clues have emerged from the full sequencing of the lizard's genome and may offer insights into how the genomes of humans, mammals, and their reptilian counterparts have evolved since mammals and reptiles parted ways 320 million years ago. The researchers who completed thi ... read more


FLORA AND FAUNA
Arianespace preps for next Ariane 5 mission to launch Arabsat-5c

Russian Space Taxi Goes on Strike

Express-AM4 Launch Failure Inter-Agency Commission Concludes Investigations

Progress space freighter destroyed in atmosphere

FLORA AND FAUNA
Epic search for evidence of life on Mars heats up with focus on high-tech instruments

HDU Technologies Demonstrated in 2011 Field Testing

Filling the pantry for the first voyages to the Red Planet

Out of Thin Martian Air

FLORA AND FAUNA
Armstrong relives historic Moon landing

NASA's Next Generation Robotic Lander Gets Sideways During Test

Moon Express Gets Thumbs-Up from NASA for Developing New Lunar Landing Technology

NASA Moon Mission in Final Preparations for September Launch

FLORA AND FAUNA
The PI's Perspective: Visiting Four Moons, in Just Four Years, for All Mankind

Citizen Scientists Discover a New Horizons Flyby Target

View from the Summit: Hunting for KBOs at the Top of the World

Hubble telescope spots tiny fourth moon near Pluto

FLORA AND FAUNA
Greenhouse Effect Could Extend Habitable Zone

A Planet Made of Diamond

Astronomers Find Ice and Possibly Methane on Snow White

Hubble to Target 'Hot Jupiters'

FLORA AND FAUNA
US looks for answers after hypersonic plane fails

US military loses contact with hypersonic aircraft

NASA Selects Companies To Study Storing Cryogenic Propellants In Space

Ball Aerospace Develops Flight Computers for Next-Generation Launch Vehicles

FLORA AND FAUNA
Chang'e-2 moon orbiter travels around L2 in outer space

China State media says Tiangong 1 to launch in early Sept

Time Limits for Tiangong

Orbits for Tiangong

FLORA AND FAUNA
Earth-bound asteroids come from stony asteroids

NASA Plans to Visit a Near-Earth Asteroid

Comet Elenin Poses No Threat to Earth

Asteroid Photographer Beams Back Science Data


Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
.

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement