Navigation Links
Tibetans' Genes Help Them Thrive at High Altitudes
Date:5/13/2010

Researchers isolate unique DNA that help residents cope with lower-oxygen environment

THURSDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- How are Tibetans able to thrive in the oxygen-thin high altitudes of the Tibet highlands when non-residents find the environment hard to endure? It's all in the genes, researchers say.

Thousands of years of natural selection have allowed Tibetan highlanders to evolve 10 unique oxygen-processing genes that help them avoid the sometimes life-threatening complications that can accompany high-altitude exposure, a new study has found.

The study is published online May 13 in ScienceExpress, and is the product of a cooperative effort launched by American and Chinese researchers from the University of Utah School of Medicine and Qinghai University Medical School.

The oxygen-deprived environs of high-altitude regions can give rise to severe lung and brain complications, the authors noted. Even professional mountaineers are at risk for experiencing "polycythemia," in which the body manufactures too many red blood cells in reaction to oxygen deprivation.

Swelling of the lungs and brain, along with high blood pressure of the lung vessels can trigger respiratory failure, which can be deadly. Yet the research team noted that Tibetan highlanders do not experience any such medical hardships.

To find out why, the investigators analyzed DNA samples from 31 Tibetan residents of a village located at 14,720 feet above sea level.

After comparing the villagers DNA with samples taken from people living in lower elevations nearby, the team was able to isolate 10 specific genes that were found only among the high-elevation residents.

Although adaptation to high-altitude living has been observed in other regions including the Andes Mountains in South America and parts of Ethiopia, the evolved genes found among the Tibetan highlanders appear to be unique to them.

To date, the researchers have linked two of the 10 genes directly to blood-borne oxygen transportation. But they note that further study is needed, with an eye toward more genes that could play a role in high-elevation protection.

"What's unique about Tibetans is they don't develop high red blood cells counts," Dr. Josef T. Prchal, study co-author and a hematologist and professor of internal medicine at the University of Utah, said in a news release. "If we can understand this, we can develop therapies for human disease."

More information

For more on high-altitude sickness visit the American Heart Association.



SOURCE: ScienceExpress, news release, May, 13, 2010


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Small Changes in Two Genes May Trigger Breast Cancer
2. New Alzheimers Risk Genes Identified
3. Three Genes Linked to Variations in Eye Color
4. Genes Tie Blood Fat to Heart Disease
5. Trauma-induced changes to genes may lead to PTSD
6. Study links microRNA to shut-down of DNA-repair genes
7. Refined tools help pinpoint disease-causing genes
8. Spanish gene expression data promise targeting of anti-angiogenesis treatment
9. Smoking May Be in Your Genes
10. Lung Cancer Increase in Women Tied to Genes, Estrogen
11. Genesys PHO Outsources Data Center to Online Tech
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe ... from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine ... his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental ... exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards took place ... BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to receive an ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 on E ... goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not ... as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, ... the dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity ... who are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... 12th International Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two ... Announcement of the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology ... outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 ... 30, 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A ... product of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will ... 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced ... launch of Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first ... of possibilities for IoT devices.      (Photo: ... Oticon introduces a number of ,world firsts,: ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Experian Health, the healthcare industry ... patient payment and care experience, today announced ... and services that will enhance the breadth ... These award-winning solutions will enable healthcare professionals ... in an ever-changing environment and redefine front-office ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: