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:4/30/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... The ... , a program to critically evaluate and rank health-focused applications and connected devices ... to provide independent, unbiased and accurate information to help accelerate patient and provider ...
(Date:4/30/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 30, 2016 , ... Orlando-based Maximized ... as they go for gold in Rio. Under the care of Maximized Living ... golds! , In an unprecedented showing, Maximized Living is sending the largest contingent of ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... notified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) that it has ... This is the first accreditation of three residency programs that Memorial is currently ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... advocating optimistic healthcare awareness and author of best seller "LOVE, MEDICINE and MIRACLES") ... Radio Monday, May 2, 2016 and podcasted thereafter . Dr. Bernie Siegel, ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Spine Team Texas, a comprehensive spine physician group specializing in ... physicians has been invited to be a featured speaker at the Texas Society of ... April 30, 2016. , Dr. R. Scott McPherson, a physical medicine and rehabilitation ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... Switzerland , April 27, 2016 ... AG announced the launch of a Phase 2 clinical ... residual hearing in patients undergoing cochlear implantation (CI) surgery. ... recruiting patients in Germany and ... into the middle ear at the time of surgery. ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 26, 2016 Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ... at the Deutsche Bank 41 st Annual Health Care ... You are invited to listen to the live ... access it directly at http://edge.media-server.com/m/p/mr4uxgas . A recorded replay ... of the live event and accessible at the links above ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 Research ... "Global Molecular Diagnostics Market 2016-2020" report to their ... , ,The global molecular diagnostics market is projected to ... 2016-2020. Molecular diagnostics is a technique that ... the molecular level to detect changes in biochemical pathways. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: