In the DNA of the present eptic genes for telomerase activity.
Researchers from Carnegie University and the University of Oregon health conducted a genetic analysis of the parrot species sidelobes Amazon and compared his material with a DNA 30 other species of birds. Scientists have identified genes that can be the cause of longevity.
Some parrots can live in captivity up to 90 years. This time is comparable to several centuries for humans. Morgan Witlin and her colleagues wanted to find out the cause of a lifetime.
They found a unique parrot genetic structure. First, genes that stimulate telomerase activity. Telomerase is the reverse transcriptase enzyme, the activity of which aimed at extending or maintaining the current state of the telomeres — the end parts of chromosomes which are reduced with each cell division. Telomeres determine the number of cell divisions before it dies. This phenomenon is related to the effect of aging. With the possible replenishment of the telomeres of the cellular structure can become immortal.
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Secondly, they found a mechanism that regulates the cell cycle. According to them, its parallel evolution with genes that activate telomerase, allowed the birds to avoid the development of cancer, which is possible in the absence of control.
Thirdly, they identified unique to this species of parrots paralogy (one of the genes, which arose by duplication of the original gene in the case of a chromosomal mutation). Scientists have associated them with human genes that are associated with cognitive abilities, seeing this as a sign of convergent evolution.
Morgan Wirthlin hoped that future, more detailed studies will allow the team to uncover the root causes of the abilities of parrots associated with it.
We will remind that earlier scientists examined the DNA of bats and also found longevity genes.