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 Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion
26.07.2017 | Penn State

nachricht New virus discovered in migratory bird in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
26.07.2017 | Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion

26.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>