A genetically engineered fish that glows green from the inside out is helping illuminate what pollutants do inside the body.
Endocrine disruptors are substances found in a wide range of industrial products, including plastics, as well as in many female contraceptives.
The chemicals mimic the actions of sexual hormones, resulting in various reproductive problems in both people and animals. Previous research has shown the chemicals cause fish to change gender, and in people, endocrine disruptors have been associated with lower sperm counts and breast and testicular cancers.
Yet scientists have had difficulty tracking what endocrine disruptors do inside a person or an animal's body. So a team genetically engineered zebrafish to glow in places where an endocrine-disrupting chemical is present—and thus show where it may be harming the body.