Traffic noise exposure affects telomere length in nestling house sparrows.
Biology letters, September 2015, Volume: 11 Issue: 9
This paper appeared couple of months back. I read it only yesterday. Researchers Alizée Meillère, François Brischoux, Cécile Ribout and Frédéric Angelier have shown that noise alone can affect a wild vertebrate's early-life telomere length
.Lot of evidences has come up recently to show that high noise levels can have major impacts on wildlife. Most of the research has been on adult animals, but there is nothing much on the effects of noise pollution on developing organisms in the research sphere. Here the researchers experimentally manipulated the acoustic environment of free-living house sparrows (Passer domesticus) breeding in nest boxes. Disturbance on nestlings’ telomere length and fledging success were put to test. Telomeres (the protective ends of chromosomes) are a predictor of longevity. Nestlings reared under traffic noise exposure exhibited reduced telomere lengths. Based on their findings the researchers assert that noise alone can affect a wild vertebrate's early-life telomere length and it may entail important costs for developing organisms.