Navigation Links
Cats' indifference towards sugar explained

Unlike most mammals, cats--both domestic and wild--are indifferent to sweets. A new study in PLoS Genetics explains the molecular mechanism behind their strictly carnivorous behavior. "We took a behavioral question and answered it molecularly," says Joseph Brand, senior author of the study and Associate Director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center.

Scattered on mammalian tongues are specialized taste bud receptors that recognize specific tastes, including, of course, sweet. Two different proteins hook together to make each sweet receptor. According to Brand, Xia Li (lead author of the study), and their coauthors, cats do not produce one of the proteins, because the gene that codes for it is a pseudogene and is not functional. It is this lack of a functional sweet receptor that explains cats' indifference to sweet stimuli.

Cats have no way to recognize carbohydrates, and therefore eat an "Atkins-like" diet of meat and fat. These findings lead to more questions, Brand says. "The overarching evolutionary questions are: when and why did cats lose the ability to taste sweet things? Which came first, the carnivorous behavior or the inability to taste sweets?"

Brand adds, "I say jokingly, no wonder cats are cranky--not only do they have to hunt for their food, but they also can't enjoy a sweet dessert!"

Citation: Li X, Li W, Wang H, Cao J, Maehashi K, et al. (2005) Pseudogenization of a sweet-receptor gene accounts for cats' indifference toward sugar. PLoS Genet 1(1): e3.


'"/>

Source:Public Library of Science


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Virologists make major step towards understanding the process of HIV infection
2. A new step towards an AIDS vaccine
3. New GM mosquito sexing technique is step towards malaria control, report scientists
4. Novel method reveals how menthol discovery could point towards new or improved pain therapies
5. Scientists make first step towards holy grail of crystallography
6. Salk researchers make fast strides towards understanding how our body controls walking
7. Thai spice helps cut blood sugar swings
8. Life-extending protein keeps blood sugar in check
9. Too much sugar not good for coral reefs
10. Darkness unveils vital metabolic fuel switch between sugar and fat
11. Scientists seek to unwrap the sweet mystery of the sugar coat on bacteria
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/4/2017)... YORK , April 4, 2017   EyeLock ... today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark ... patent broadly covers the linking of an iris image ... same transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th ... latest patent is very timely given the multi-modal biometric ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host ... hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, ... on developing health and wellness apps that provide a ... Genome is the first hackathon for personal genomics ... companies in the genomics, tech and health industries are ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities and forecast ... behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, ... others), by end use industry (government and law enforcement, ... and banking, and others), and by region ( ... Asia Pacific , and the Rest ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... nourishing a range of emerging technology-based businesses, recently earned a $77,518 grant from ... , Founded in 2004, FITCI is Frederick’s first incubator. A non-profit corporation, ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... Husson ... clinical research community’s growing body of knowledge during its Eighth Annual Research ... and the adjacent Darling Atrium. During the event, undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... unique intellectual property (IP) sharing and commercialization model. , The Center for Advancing ... main component of this effort is bringing the IP to the attention of ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 18, 2017 , ... A number of new instruments have ... is part of the Protein and Cell Analysis Education Webinar Series , will ... technology fits in current and future applications. , Many flow cytometers have unique ...
Breaking Biology Technology: