They reveal the secret of bats to 'self-cure' cancer

By 20/09/2023 Portal

Bats are exceptional among mammals: not only are they the only ones in the family capable of flying; They also have great longevity (many species live more than 40 years), they hardly have cases of cancer and, despite being a reservoir for some diseases - such as, for example, coronaviruses -, they have a robust immune system that allows them to tolerate infections. viral in an amazing way. Now, researchers from the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) have discovered that the secret is in its DNA. The conclusions have just been published in the journal 'Genome Biology and Evolution'. Specifically, the team sequenced the genomes of two bat species, the Jamaican fruit bat (Artibeus jamaicensis) and the Mesoamerican mustached bat (Pteronotus mesoamericanus); and then compared them to a diverse collection of other bats, as well as other mammals in general. The researchers found genetic adaptations in six proteins related to DNA repair, in addition to 46 others known to influence cancer and its 'self-healing'. In particular, the study found that these altered genes were 'enriched' twice as much in bat species in general as in other mammals. Related News standard No What is the relationship between bats and the myth of the vampire? F. Pérez / F. López-Muñoz (The Conversation) This is an ancient connection motivated, to a large extent, by the appearance of these animals, although it has also been motivated for centuries by both their way of life and a peculiar, confusing and imaginative taxonomic characterization "By generating these new bat genomes and comparing them with other mammals, we continue to find extraordinary new adaptations in antiviral and anticancer genes," explains Armin Scheben, lead author of the article. "These investigations are the first step in translating research on the unique biology of bats into knowledge relevant to understanding and treating aging and diseases, such as cancer, in humans." Because the particularities of these flying mammals make them perfect specimens for research and their possible repercussions on human health. For example, by better understanding the mechanisms of bats' immune systems that allow them to tolerate viral infections, scientists could better prevent outbreaks of diseases that jump from animals to people. MORE INFORMATION news Yes The remains of a Neanderthal woman and two children are found by chance in the warehouse of a museum in Barcelona news Yes Jupiter's moon Callisto has a thousand times more oxygen than it should, and scientists cannot explain it On the other hand On the other hand, comparative genomic analyzes between bats and mammals susceptible to cancer may provide new information about its causes and the links between this disease and immunity. Furthermore, studies of bats and other organisms complement work based on mouse models, which, although they are more susceptible to experimentation, their characteristics make their results less extrapolable to human health.