Biologists have recreated and introduced into living cells of mutant DNA the last mammoths. So geneticists have found, what illnesses suffered these things before extinction.
Achievement is described in a scientific paper published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution.
the Last place on Earth, inhabited by mammoths was Wrangel island in the Arctic ocean. These animals it was difficult to call the giants: their growth did not exceed 2.5 meters (note that reducing the size of large animals migrated from the continent to the Islands, is a typical phenomenon).
the Population of all declined, and “hairy elephants” were forced to interbreed with their relatives. Because of this, they probably suffered from genetic diseases (“News.Science” talked in detail why this is so). Approximately 4-3,5 Millennium ago, the last mammoths came to an end.
a Few years ago, scientists examined the DNA of the mammoth from Wrangel island and identified several potentially harmful mutations that could contribute to extinction.
Now another group of researchers took the next step. Genetics has not only revealed defects in the genes of mammoths, but have reproduced these mutations “in vitro”. So the experts were convinced that DNA damage do affect animal health.
First, scientists compared the DNA of mammoths of Wrangel island and two mainland mammoths, who lived in an era when the population of these animals was much greater. The researchers also compared them with the genes of three modern Asian elephant.
the Authors have identified several potentially harmful mutations, which had suffered by animals from Wrangel island. Genetics then copied the desired genes from the DNA of modern organisms have reproduced in them the desired mutation and introduced into the genome of living cells.
Explain that the genomes of different organisms are very similar. Moreover, all life uses the same mechanisms to read DNA and protein synthesis on the basis of the read information (recall that a gene is an instruction for the synthesis of RNA, according tothe Torah further synthesized a “workhorse” organism ∎ protein).
So the gene responsible for the production of a protein, works the same way regardless of whether it is in a bacterial cell, a person, or mammoth. This, by the way, allows genetic engineers to transplant genes from one organism to another.
Transplanted living cells DNA that copies of the defective genes of a mammoth, scientists were convinced that genes synthesized by these proteins do not function correctly. The consequences of such mistakes are known through the study of living organisms.
we are Talking about mutations, disrupts the normal development of the nervous system, reducing sperm quality, causing a predisposition to diabetes and impair the sense of smell. This whole set of hereditary diseases unlikely animals led to prosperity.
“the Main conclusion is that the last mammoths were probably very sick and could not smell the flowers, so it’s just sad,” – said the head of the research group Vincent Lynch (Vincent Lynch) from the University of Buffalo.
By the way, before “News.Science” wrote about how scientists “woke up” the cell nuclei of ancient mammoth. We talked about the fact that Neanderthals and mammoths protected from cold the same genes.