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:5/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... Beleza Medspa has initiated a new program ... is the first time that Coolsculpting is being used for for more than just ... ensure they meet the prescribed body-fat standard, measured by the circumference-based tape method. ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Despite last week’s media reports hinting at ... company to wait until March 2017 for an interest rate increase, according to Rajeev ... of Business. , “The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) dot charts are of interest ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Georgia State University College of Law is ... Answering to the increasing demand for curricular specializations, the Certificate in Intellectual Property ... land use law. ,  , “The demand for lawyers with specific knowledge in ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... There are nearly 14.5 million people living with and beyond ... Sunday, June 5, 2016, communities around the world will gather to recognize these cancer ... Cancer Survivors Day® is an annual worldwide Celebration of Life that is held on ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... effort to provide hair restoration information to the widest possible audience, Dr. Parsa Mohebi is ... the app. Dr. Mohebi, the founder of Parsa Mohebi Hair Restoration, is making all of ... Mohebi says, “The positive response to the Snapchat videos we started last month has been ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... FDA 510(k) clearance covers ... for urological and surgical applications Mauna ... Cellvizio®, the multidisciplinary confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) platform, ... US with the 12 th 510(k) clearance ... This new FDA clearance covers Confocal Miniprobes indicated ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , Deutschland und GERMANTOWN, Maryland ... Zusammenarbeit mit Therawis bedient ... bei Brustkrebs   QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: ... gab heute bekannt, eine Lizenz- und Entwicklungsvereinbarung mit ... Assays für die Onkologie eingegangen zu sein. Ein ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... IRVINE, Calif. , May 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... of testing for their new reference materials that ... workflows from sample collection to analyses. The rapid ... the demand for researchers to have standard methods ... data being generated. Biases inherently exist at every ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: