Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adaptation in mole blood aids tunnelling

Date:
July 20, 2010
Source:
BioMed Central Limited
Summary:
'Super hemoglobin' allows moles to thrive underground. Researchers have made the first identification of an adaptation in the blood of Eastern moles which allows more efficient transport of carbon dioxide, facilitating the moles' burrowing behavior.

Mole.
Credit: Campbell et al., BMC Evolutionary Biology

'Super hemoglobin' allows moles to thrive underground. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology have made the first identification of an adaptation in the blood of Eastern moles which allows more efficient transport of carbon dioxide, facilitating the moles' burrowing behavior.

Kevin Campbell from the University of Manitoba, Canada, worked with a team of researchers to study the blood of three underground species of North American moles. He said, "Unlike terrestrial animals, moles are routinely exposed to conditions of low oxygen and high carbon dioxide. Burrowing is difficult in itself, but is made even more challenging by the requirement to re-breathe their own expired air. We've found that one species, the Eastern mole, appears to be uniquely adapted to underground life through the evolution of a special kind of hemoglobin in their blood that greatly enhances its carbon dioxide carrying capacity."

The researchers determined the genetic code for different hemoglobin components in the three mole species and measured how well these components bind to their usual target molecules. They also tested the oxygen binding properties of whole blood samples. Speaking about the results, Campbell said, "It has been speculated that the main mechanism for the moles adaptation to subterranean life revolves around the molecule 2,3-diphosphoglycerate, or DPG, that modulates hemoglobin's oxygen binding inside the blood cells. However, in the hemoglobin of the eastern mole, the key sites which would normally bind DPG are deleted, thereby allowing for the binding of additional carbon dioxide molecules."

Adds co-author Roy Weber, University of Aarhus, Denmark, "It would be interesting to see if the hemoglobins of other burrowing species exhibit comparable specializations." The team envisions that this line of research could lead to the development of improved artificial human blood substitutes with specially engineered properties.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central Limited. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kevin L Campbell, Jay F Storz, Anthony V Signore, Hideaki Moriyama, Kenneth C Catania, Alexander P Payson, Joseph Bonaventura, Joerg Stetefeld and Roy E Weber. Molecular basis of a novel adaptation to hypoxic-hypercapnia in a strictly fossorial mole. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 2010; 10 (1): 214 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-10-214

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central Limited. "Adaptation in mole blood aids tunnelling." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719083050.htm>.
BioMed Central Limited. (2010, July 20). Adaptation in mole blood aids tunnelling. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719083050.htm
BioMed Central Limited. "Adaptation in mole blood aids tunnelling." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719083050.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Super Healthful Fruits and Vegetables: Which Are Best?

Super Healthful Fruits and Vegetables: Which Are Best?

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) We all know that it is important to eat our fruits and vegetables but do you know which ones are the best for you? Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bad Memories Turn Good In Weird Mouse Brain Study

Bad Memories Turn Good In Weird Mouse Brain Study

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) MIT researchers were able to change whether bad memories in mice made them anxious by flicking an emotional switch in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Couples Who Smoke Weed Together Stay Together?

Do Couples Who Smoke Weed Together Stay Together?

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) A study out of University at Buffalo claims couples who smoke marijuana are less likely to experience intimate partner violence. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Panda Might Have Faked Pregnancy To Get Special Treatment

Panda Might Have Faked Pregnancy To Get Special Treatment

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) A panda in China showed pregnancy symptoms that disappeared after two months of observation. One theory: Her pseudopregnancy was a ploy for perks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins