Researchers Find Yet Another Reason Why Naked Mole-Rats Are Just Weird
"The naked mole rat has simply rearranged some basic building-blocks of metabolism to make it super-tolerant to low oxygen conditions", said Thomas Park, professor of biological sciences at the University of IL at Chicago, who made the discovery after studying the species for 18 years.
Now the East African rodent turns out to have a metabolic trick that allows it to survive very low oxygen levels with no apparent ill effects. The rodents are freakish in just about every way. They can live more than 30 years, are cold-blooded, have a social hierarchy comparable to bees or ants, can run backwards and forward with equal ease, eat their own poo, can move their teeth individually like chopsticks and are one of the strangest looking creatures on the planet.
Park said the study just scratches the surface of what researchers need to know for humans to survive oxygen deprivation.
"You and me and all the other animals in the world use a sugar called glucose, and glucose is really good", Thomas Park, lead author of the study and professor of biological sciences at the University of IL at Chicago, told Gizmodo. As a result, the air in these confined, packed spaces is often low in oxygen and high in carbon dioxide.
Park and his colleagues wondered if they animals had another trick up their (nonexistent) sleeves for handling such extreme conditions.
Not so for a hairless, underground rodent called the naked mole-rat. They also appear to be largely immune to cancer, with the first case of the disease in a naked mole-rat only confirmed in 2016.
"So we put them in the chamber and after five minutes, nothing". "What I've experienced over and over again is people will say, 'Oh, they're ugly, they're gross, ' every single person that I've taken to actually see the mole rats in person has come away saying they're cute and they're lovable", Park said. An hour later, there were still no problems. Findings showed that while the mice died in fewer than 15 minutes, the naked mole-rats could survive for five hours.
"It's not that they've invented something new, they've just exaggerated a pathway we mostly don't ever need to use", Park said of the rats' metabolic pathways, or process for converting energy.
The animals had slowed down a bit, he says, but were awake, walking around and even socializing.
"If we could activate the fructose pathway in a heart attack victim, that would extend the amount of time we have to get that victim to a medical facility where they can get resuscitated and spare the brain damage that frequently comes along with a heart attack", Park said. Compared to the atmosphere's oxygen level of 21 percent, in naked mole-rat tunnels oxygen can drop to as low as 6 percent.
"And that was a surprise, too", he says. This suffocating experience would kill a mouse-a mammal of similar size, albeit with significantly more hair.
In aerobic metabolism, which the body normally relies on, the mitochondria (the cell's batteries) use broken-down glucose and oxygen to produce a molecule called ATP, which biologists call the cell's energy currency.
"We weren't looking for it, but bang, fructose goes way up in the blood and then it goes way up in the organs and it gets used by heart and brain", Park says. This suggested that the brains switched their power source to fructose from glucose during a lack of oxygen.
Humans are capable of storing and using fructose in the liver and kidney, but as Park explains, we don't have enough of the correct enzyme to create energy directly from fructose.
Better understanding the mole rat's energy switchover will be key to any hope of somehow using it to help humans. According to McClelland, even fish or turtles that can survive long periods without oxygen have not modified glycolysis in that way.
But Jay Storz, an evolutionary physiologist at the University of Nebraska who researches how animals adapt to extreme conditions, says those creatures still use glucose to fuel themselves. They just drastically reduce their energy needs.
The naked mole-rat's ability to switch tracks to a different metabolic fuel is really surprising. "They're doing something that really has not been described before for any vertebrate animal", Storz says.
One question for future research, he says, is how the animals manage to get rid of lactate, a molecule that builds up during anaerobic metabolism and can alter blood chemistry.
The Prime Minister said Labour's economic policies would mean it is "ordinary working people who pay the price". The prime minister urged voters to give her "the mandate to speak for Britain and to deliver for Britain ".
Thirty teams had sent people to watch the 6-foot-6 athlete work out recently, but the Colts were the first to pull the trigger. The prospective tight end worked out for representatives of several National Football League teams last week in Richmond, Va.
Beaufort Securities reissued a buy rating on shares of JD Sports Fashion PLC in a report on Monday, January 16th. RBC Capital Markets downgraded the shares of ATK in report on Thursday, October 13 to "Sector Performer" rating.
One of the three dissenting judges issued a blistering criticism of Monday's ruling sparing the first two condemned inmates. Judd Deere, a spokesman for Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, said the state will appeal Gray's ruling.
Of course, many claims of sexual harassment in the workplace are fabricated for whatever reason (though five cases is a lot). The allegations also saw dozens of advertisers fleeing the show, even though O'Reilly's viewership increased.
Authorities say two people have been charged with child abuse after a 7-week-old baby suffered broken legs and five broken ribs. Madison County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post that the baby was only a month old when the first assault took place.
The comments were made by a Foreign Ministry official and carried Sunday by North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency. Tillerson said Xi agreed with Trump that North Korea's nuclear advances had reached a "very serious stage".
Earlier in March, it fired four missiles towards Japan, some of which came as close as 300 km (190 miles) to the Japanese coast. Later in the month, North Korea tested a mobile-launched missile which exploded "within seconds of launch", according to U.S.
Ocwen is one of the nation's largest non-bank mortgage lenders, focusing mostly on subprime and delinquent mortgages. Ocwen plunged more than 50% in trading and was the biggest percentage loser on the New York Stock Exchange.
Dao's attorney, Thomas Demetrio, said his client suffered a concussion and a broken nose as a result of the aggressive incident. United Airlines will no longer allow employees to take seats from passengers on overbooked flights, it was learned on Sunday.
Dortmund's Tuchel fumes at UEFA after Monaco defeat
Defender Marc Bartra was taken to hospital with injuries sustained in the incident and the game was postponed for one night. Tuchel claimed in the aftermath of Wednesday's match that his side were told they had to play by a text message from UEFA.
President Trump may fire Preibus and Bannon
Bannon and Stephen Miller-and the liberal-moderates-led by Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner-has been raging for weeks. A White House source told The Huffington Post on Friday that 'Gary Cohn would be the top pick for chief of staff'.
Gorsuch Jumps Right in During Supreme Court Debut
Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., and fellow justices watch as Neil Gorsuch signs the Constitutional Oath on April 10. The judge was also quick to speak up when he felt that he was not getting a direct answer to his questions.
Francesca Schiavone wins Bogota WTA title
Even for a Grand Slam titlist who played her first professional match over two decades ago, winning never gets old. Schiavone has announced that she will retire at the end of this season.
Serena Williams won the Australian Open while pregnant
Williams is the oldest woman to win a major singles title and still dominates the tour at an age when most players have retired. She is second only to Australian Margaret Court on the list of women's all-time Grand Slam singles titles leaders.
Broncos Country should be charged up about season-opening game
The Chargers took the first one by a score of 21-13 on a Thursday night that saw both teams wearing bold Color Rush uniforms. An excellent home team, this will mark the seventh straight season in which the Broncos have opened the season in Denver.
South Korea's ousted president charged with bribery
Some recall him as an enormous human rights abuser while others credit him for spearheading a rapid economic rise in the 1960-70s. Park Geun-hye, the recently deposed president of South Korea, was formally indicted on corruption charges Monday.