Navigation Links
New whale shark study used metabolomics to help understand shark and ray health
Date:11/16/2012

New research from Georgia Aquarium and Georgia Institute of Technology provides evidence that a suite of techniques called "metabolomics" can be used to determine the health status of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), the world's largest fish species. The study, led by Dr. Alistair Dove, Director of Research & Conservation at Georgia Aquarium and an adjunct professor at Georgia Tech, found that the major difference between healthy and unhealthy sharks was the concentration of homarine in their in serumindicating that homarine is a useful biomarker of health status for the species.

The paper, "Biomarkers of whale shark health: a metabolomic approach", which is published in the journal PLOS ONE, is especially significant to the veterinary science community because the study documents the results of a rare opportunity to collect and analyze blood from whale sharks. The paper also comprises the only work yet carried out on biochemistry of the world's largest fish.

"This research and its resulting findings are vitally important to ensuring Georgia Aquarium's and the scientific community's care, knowledge, and understanding of not only whale sharks, but similar species of sharks and rays," said Dr. Greg Bossart, Senior Vice President of Animal Health, Research & Conservation and Chief Veterinary Officer at Georgia Aquarium. "The publishing of this clinical research provides a greater opportunity for scientists and Zoological professionals to understand the Animals in our care and can be used to help wild populations, which puts us ahead of the curve in the integrated understanding of animal biology."

Previous research and observations showed that traditional veterinary blood chemistry tests were not as useful with whale sharks; most likely because such tests are designed for mammals and comparatively less is known about shark and ray blood. Dr. Dove and six colleagues from Georgia Tech set out to significantly increase knowledge of whale shark biochemistry by examining the metabolite composition of all six whale sharks which have been cared for at Georgia Aquarium. By using metabolomics, the researchers were able to determine which chemical compounds were present in the shark blood, without knowing ahead of time what they are.

"It is vitally important for us to continue to learn how to best support the whale sharks in our care," said Dove, who, along with the GA Tech team, spent three years developing the research. "We began the study by asking ourselves, 'What should we be looking for in whale shark serum?' and 'What compounds in serum might best indicate the health status of whale sharks?'"

Not only did the study determine that metabolic profiles of unhealthy whale sharks were markedly different than those of healthy sharks in general and particularly the different levels of homarine, but the research team also identified more than 25 other compounds that differed in concentration based on the health of the individual.

Findings detailed in "Biomarkers of whale shark health: a metabolomic approach" will help scientists and veterinarians to better understand the biology of whale sharks in their natural setting, and by homology, the biology of other shark and ray species that may be similar. Further, data compiled in the research will provide a reference library about whale shark biochemistry that can be consulted in future studies and importantly, adds new knowledge that will be useful to those who care for sharks and rays on a daily basis.

"This sort of advanced research is only made possible through collaboration between aquarium scientists and experts at our partner universities," said Dr. Dove.


'/>"/>

Contact: Stephanie Johnson
sljohnson@georgiaaquarium.org
404-581-4230
Georgia Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Worlds rarest whale seen for the first time
2. A whale with a distinctly human-like voice
3. Long menopause allows killer whales to care for adult sons
4. New DNA-method tracks fish and whales in seawater
5. NOAA: Underwater noise decreases whale communications in Stellwagen Bank sanctuary
6. The fin whale, under more threat in the Mediterranean than thought
7. First paternity study of southern right whales finds local fathers most successful
8. Killer whale at risk due to inadequate prey population
9. Scientists discover a new sensory organ in the chin of baleen whales
10. A whale of a discovery: New sensory organ found in rorqual whales
11. Whale population size, dynamics determined based on ancient DNA
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New whale shark study used metabolomics to help understand shark and ray health
(Date:3/20/2017)... 2017 PMD Healthcare announces the release of ... Management System (WMS), a remote, real-time lung health monitoring ... Healthcare is a Medical Device, Digital Health, and Chronic ... creating innovative solutions that empower people to improve their ... PMD developed the first ever personal spirometer, Spiro PD, ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... , March 13, 2017 Future of security: Biometric Face ... ... DERMALOGs Face Matching enables to match face pictures against ... basis to identify individuals. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG,s "Face Matching" is the fastest software for biometric Face Matching ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , ... Well Made Simple," and 23andMe , the leading ... better food choices.  Zipongo can now provide customers with ... preferences, health goals and biometrics, but also genetic markers ... choices. Zipongo,s personalized food decision support platform ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/16/2017)... ... May 16, 2017 , ... Genedata, a leading provider ... User Group Meetings, which will be held in Boston, Cambridge/UK, Shanghai, and ... in screening data analysis and learn about the latest advances in screening technologies ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... Village, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 16, 2017 ... ... personalized medicine technology and cancer diagnostics, has released its ClearID Lung Cancer blood ... altered in lung cancer, this new test is designed to quickly and accurately ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... ... May 16, 2017 , ... On Tuesday, May 23 at 10:30 AM, ... the advance in stem cell medicine that his company has recently achieved in collaboration ... of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine’s first partnering conference, Cell & Gene Exchange ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... ... May 15, 2017 , ... ... ELEVATE Advanced Lift Contouring Cream, a gravity-shattering cream with a patented formula, clinically ... thrilled to bring the Advanced Lift Contouring Cream to our already innovative ELEVATE ...
Breaking Biology Technology: