Scientists were always amazed by shark genes. Sharks do have some “superpowers” that allow them to heal incredibly fast. It appears that researchers finally managed to discover how they do that. The genes of the great white shark were analyzed, and some interesting details were revealed.
The team behind the study was made by a team from Nova the Southeastern University’s (NSU) Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Research Center, Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI), Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, and Monterey Bay Aquarium.
What did they discover?
First of all, it appears that the genome of the great white shark is a special one. If we compare it to the human genome, it contains one and a half times the amount of information. To put things into perspective, the human genome has 23 pairs of chromosomes, while the great white genome has 41 pairs of chromosomes.
The genes also help sharks avoid cancer risks. It appears that the animals are very resilient when it comes to this disease, despite the fact that they can live up to 70 years. Basically, the genome is preserved with the help of genetic adaptations.
“We found positive selection and gene content enrichments involving several genes tied to some of the most fundamental pathways in wound healing, including in a key blood clotting gene,” said Michael Stanhope, Ph.D., of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. “These adaptations involving wound healing genes may underlie the vaunted ability of sharks to heal efficiently from even large wounds.”
More than that, the great white shark can heal incredibly fast. The regenerative abilities are well-known, and they managed to puzzle scientists until now. It was discovered that the reason why they can heal so quickly is also the structure of their genome.
Nora Reynolds is a major in biology and a minor in Biological Basis of Behavior, writing about science in general. She also likes to try new gadgets and sports about the AI new era.