Navigation Links
Could Turtle Gene Findings Aid Human Health?
Date:4/17/2013

WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have decoded the DNA of the western painted turtle in the hopes that a greater understanding of these reptiles could one day improve treatment for people who suffer a heart attack or stroke.

The researchers identified 19 genes in the turtles' brain and 23 in the heart that are activated in situations with low oxygen. These genes also occur in humans. The study authors said their findings might lead to treatments to repair tissue damage due to oxygen deprivation associated with cardiovascular emergencies.

"Turtles are nothing short of an enigma," senior study author Richard Wilson, director of Washington University's Genome Institute, said in a university news release. "They may be slowly evolving, but turtles have developed an array of enviable features. They resist growing old, can reproduce even at advanced ages and their bodies can freeze solid, thaw and survive without damaging delicate organs and tissues. We could learn a lot from them."

Turtles evolve very slowly -- at about one-third of the rate of human evolution -- found the team of researchers from several institutions, including Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, St. Louis University and the University of California, Los Angeles. The body design of turtles has not changed much in 210 million years.

By examining the turtle's DNA, the researchers found that turtles are more closely related to birds than other reptiles, such as lizards and snakes. They are also able to withstand oxygen deprivation not by relying on new genes, but by activating gene networks found in humans and most other vertebrates and using those genes in new ways.

"This is a backdoor route for turtles to evolve," study co-author Patrick Minx, of the Genome Institute, said in the news release. "Rather than evolve new genes, they adapted existing genes for new uses."

Up to 50 percent of the 330 turtle species worldwide are considered threatened, however, primarily due to human consumption, the researchers said. Although claims have been made that eating turtles can help people live longer or cure cancer, these are unsubstantiated, the researchers added.

Changes in turtles' habitats have also played a role in their global decline.

"The challenge is to preserve the rich diversity of turtles that still exist on Earth as we continue to unravel their secrets for success," study first author H. Bradley Shaffer, of UCLA, said in the news release. "Turtles have a tremendous amount to tell us about evolution and human health, but time is running out."

The study was published online recently in the journal Genome Biology.

More information

Visit the University of California Museum of Paleontology for more about evolution.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Washington University in St. Louis, news release, April 3, 2013


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Red wine, fruit compound could help block fat cell formation
2. Pulse pressure elevation could presage cerebrovascular disease in Alzheimers patients
3. Report says new evidence could tip the balance in aspirin cancer prevention care
4. Climate Change Could Be Tough on Seniors Health: Study
5. Could Menthol Cigarettes Pose Even Higher Stroke Risk?
6. Online Tool Could Diagnose Autism Quickly, Developers Say
7. Codeine After Surgery Could Endanger Certain Kids: Study
8. BMC study shows diverting passengers to elevators could help reduce falls at Logan Airport
9. Discovery could help to develop drugs for organ transplant and cancer patients
10. Feelings of immaturity accompany alcohol misuse into adulthood; discovery could improve treatments
11. Saliva test could dramatically increase detection of oral cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Could Turtle Gene Findings Aid Human Health?
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... The adage “Show, don’t tell” applies perfectly ... in the company’s esteemed VISION House demonstration project series. Manifesting the concept of right-sized ... resources they need to live affordably and abundantly without unduly taxing the resources of ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... performance system, has partnered with O2X , an active lifestyle company that ... on improving the health of firefighters, police offers, first responders, military officers and ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Northern California Medical ... Care Spring Symposium on April 1, 2017 in Santa Rosa. This well-attended annual ... healthcare providers an opportunity to learn about cutting edge treatments, to collaborate, share ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... BrightStar Care Salt Lake City, a home ... of Utah (APCUT) and has appointed Rex Wheeler as its new Director of Business ... our agency and our ability to provide quality care to the community,” said Tammara ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... AUGUSTA, GA (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... Festival in Augusta, Georgia. , This festival offers entertainment for everyone — from ... Sacred Heart Garden Festival is a very high quality event held in a grand ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017  CVS Pharmacy, the ... unveiled a new store design to enhance the ... healthier food, health-focused products and expanded beauty selections ... help customers discover new offerings. Together with its ... evolution of the customer experience at CVS Pharmacy.  ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... -- Eyevensys, a private biotechnology company developing ... technology that enables the safe, local, sustained production of ... range of ophthalmic diseases, announces it has received approval ... (MHRA) to advance its technology into clinical development. ... The EyeCET platform ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... Cardiology devices segment is anticipated to reach the highest market ... segment is likely to create absolute $ opportunity of a ... By the end of 2027, Cardiology Devices segment is projected ... expanding at a CAGR of 18.4% over the forecast period. ... reprocessed medical devices market in terms of revenue ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: