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 New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations
16.01.2018 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Unexpected environmental source of methane discovered
16.01.2018 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Morbid Obesity: Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy Are Comparable

17.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system

17.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Genetic discovery may help better identify children at risk for type 1 diabetes

17.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>