Navigation Links
Mice mothers devote energies to offspring when life is threatened
Date:5/28/2008

AMES, Iowa -- An Iowa State University researcher has found that sick female deer mice devote their energy to producing healthier offspring.

Lisa Schwanz, a researcher in the department of ecology, evolution and organismal biology, studied the size of offspring for both infected and healthy mice and found that females that had been infected with a parasite produced larger offspring than healthy females.

This finding was unexpected because most mammals tend to focus on their own survival when they are threatened with sickness or infection.

Schwanz's research findings have been published in New Scientist magazine.

She writes, "Organisms are predicted to decrease investment in current reproduction when parasitism has the greatest impact on current reproductive ability."

In other words, "infection in animals typically leads to responses that invest in the survival, not offspring," Schwanz said.

In deer mice, however, the opposite was happening.

In the study, Schwanz infected 30 female deer mice with a parasite that lowers the future reproductive ability and eventually kills the mice. By producing larger babies now, the mice are probably compensating for this loss in future reproduction, she said.

She also kept 21 deer mice healthy as a control.

After several weeks, all the mice were paired with mates. When the baby mice were born to both infected and healthy mothers, the offspring were tagged and weighed.

The results show that the offspring of the infected mothers were bigger. In deer mice, larger offspring are more likely to survive and reproduce.

"This shows there is a lot of diversity in the ways animals deal with infection," she said.

As the results of this study are not what she was expecting, and Schwanz feels that makes the results were noteworthy.

"It is really striking to find such strong results," she said.

The type of parasite used in the study was an indirect parasite, meaning that it cannot be passed from one mouse to another. A deer mouse can only get infected from a source other than deer mice. That way Schwanz was able to ensure that mothers did not infect their offspring.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lisa Schwanz
schwanz@iastate.edu
617-990-7087
Iowa State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Too much or too little weight gain poses risks to pregnant mothers, babies
2. Negligent, attentive mouse mothers show biological differences
3. Hungry mothers risk addiction in their adult children
4. Safer, more accurate radiation therapy for expecting mothers
5. Moms obesity during conception phase may set the stage for offsprings obesity risk
6. Species still have more viable offspring if they can choose their best mate
7. Over 50 percent of oceanic shark species threatened with extinction
8. Atmosphere threatened by pollutants entering ocean, prof says
9. Turtle nesting threatened by logging practices in Gabon, Smithsonian warns
10. Threatened bird species finds home at Western
11. Threatened birds may be rarer than geographic range maps suggest
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/14/2017)... -- IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner ... developing collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking place in ... event, nine startups will showcase the solutions they have built ... France is one of ... 30 percent increase in the number of startups created between ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Janice Kephart , ... Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues ... President Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: ... vetting can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling ... all refugee applications are suspended by until at ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... April 13, 2017 According to a new market ... Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, ... Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to ... of 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking ... initiative announced today. The bold new look is part of a transformation to ... into a significant growth period. , It will also expand its service offering from ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... SomaGenics announced the receipt of a Phase ... (Single Cell), expected to be the first commercially available ... from single cells using NGS methods. The NIH,s recent ... development of approaches to analyze the heterogeneity of cell ... for measuring levels of mRNAs in individual cells have ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... ... At its national board meeting in North Carolina, ARCS® Foundation President ... and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame ... Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe, ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... 6, 2017  The 2017 Nobel Prize in ... Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and ... cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) have helped to broaden ... biology community. The winners worked with systems manufactured ... produce highly resolved, three-dimensional images of protein structures ...
Breaking Biology Technology: