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:4/13/2017)... UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event in ... and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and Smart ... the expo portion of the event and feature a ... on trending topics within 3D printing and smart manufacturing. ... will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob K. ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 No ... but researchers at the New York University Tandon ... of Engineering have found that partial similarities between ... systems used in mobile phones and other electronic ... The vulnerability lies in the fact ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... -- Today HYPR Corp. , leading innovator in ... the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® Certified . ... that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 enterprises and ... 15 million users across the financial services industry, however ... suites and physical access represent a growing portion of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Sciences today announced the three Winners and six Finalists of the 2017 Blavatnik ... annually by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and administered by the New York Academy ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... AMRI, a global contract research, development and manufacturing organization ... quality of life, will now be offering its impurity solutions as a stand-alone ... for all new drug products, including the finalization of ICH M7 earlier this ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Personal eye wash is a basic first aid supply for ... time. So which eye do you rinse first if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? ... Eye Wash with its unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: