Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New study changes conditions for Spanish brown bears

18.03.2008
Brown bears from the Iberian Peninsula are not as genetically different from other brown bears in Europe as was previously thought.

An international study being published this week in the Net edition of the American journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS, shows that, on the contrary, the Spanish bear was only recently isolated from other European strains. These findings shed new light on the discussion of how to save the population of Spanish bears.

The researchers extracted DNA and determined the gene sequence of bears from prehistoric material, primarily from the Iberian Peninsula. Some of the material was as much as 80,000 years old. When the data material was analyzed, what emerged was a totally unexpected pattern.

“We expected to be able to follow the Spanish brown bear far back in time, but we found to our amazement that it had genetic material from bears in other parts of Europe. In fact, it seems that the Spanish bear was isolated for the first time in our own time,” says doctoral student Cristina Valdiosera, who performed most of the laboratory and analytical work.

“These bears have possibly been isolated in Spain for a few thousand years, which is a very short period in an evolutionary perspective. In other words, there has been a flow of genes to and from the Iberian Peninsula throughout most of the time brown bears have been there. This is extremely interesting data when we discuss transporting bears from other areas to Spain for the purpose of preservation,” says Anders Götherstam, who directed the study.

The number of bears on the Iberian Peninsula is limited, with the population divided into two small groups in the north. In-breeding and genetic depletion constitutes a serious threat to the bears’ survival in this area. For preservation purposes, the possibility of introducing bears from other areas to the Iberian Peninsula has been discussed, but it has been objected that this would entail the extinction of the genetically unique Iberian bear. It has also been feared that bears from other areas are not as well adapted to the living conditions on the Iberian Peninsula as the Spanish bears are.

“But since there has never been a genetically isolated brown bear on the Iberian Peninsula until very recently, these arguments can be questioned,” says Anders Götherstam.

The study was performed collaboratively by scientists from Spain, France, Germany, the UK, and Sweden.

Anneli Waara | alfa
Further information:
http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/0712223105v1
http://www.uu.se

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Project provides information on energy recovery from agricultural residues in Germany and China
13.02.2020 | Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum

nachricht New exhaust gas measurement registers ultrafine pollutant particles for the first time
21.01.2020 | Technische Universität Graz

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

NUI Galway highlights reproductive flexibility in hydractinia, a Galway bay jellyfish

24.02.2020 | Life Sciences

KIST researchers develop high-capacity EV battery materials that double driving range

24.02.2020 | Materials Sciences

How earthquakes deform gravity

24.02.2020 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>