Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The beat goes on: a vertebrate heart that beats without oxygen

02.04.2004


Scientists have discovered that the heart of a carp keeps beating when it is starved of oxygen for five days. “This is the first time that a vertebrate heart has been shown to survive such prolonged periods without oxygen and actually keep beating at the same rate as when oxygen is available” says Jonathan Stecyk (Simon Fraser University), presenting his latest results at the annual SEB meeting in Edinburgh this week.



“If I were to take oxygen away from your heart it would die in two minutes” says Mr. Stecyk. “But the heart of a carp survives and keeps beating as normal for five days without oxygen.” Crucian carp live in shallow ponds in Scandinavia, which are sealed off by ice in winter. Animals have two problems in such low oxygen environments: they cannot produce enough energy, and have to cope with the build-up of lactic acid that is produced by anaerobic respiration.

“There are two possible coping strategies in low oxygen conditions” says Mr. Stecyk “Either the animal lowers its demand for energy, or it increases the rate of processes that deliver energy.” Carp rely on the second method, which requires a large supply of fuel. Luckily carp have the largest livers among vertebrates, with the largest energy stores relative to body size. By having a heart that goes on, the fish can move this fuel around the body. They can also shuttle lactic acid to the muscles, the only tissue that can convert lactic acid to ethanol, which is then transferred to the gills where it can be excreted. Maintaining circulation allows the fish to avoid the build-up of waste products which could eventually poison the animal. In the face of their hostile environments, carp have developed a complex survival strategy relying on the unique ability of their hearts to survive without oxygen.

Yfke van Bergen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sebiology.org/Meetings/pageview.asp?S=2&mid=21

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water world
20.11.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

nachricht Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity
20.11.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>