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Models for human porphyrias: Have animals in the wild been overlooked?

Humans accumulate porphyrins in the body mostly during the course of porphyrias, diseases caused by defects in the enzymes of the heme biosynthesis pathway and that produce acute attacks, skin lesions and liver cancer. In contrast, some wild mammals and birds are adapted to accumulate porphyrins without injurious consequences. This study proposes to view such physiological adaptations as potential solutions to human porphyrias, and suggest certain wild animals as models. Given the enzymatic activity and/or the patterns of porphyrin excretion and accumulation, the fox squirrel, the great bustard and the Eurasian eagle owl may constitute overlooked models for different porphyrias. The Harderian gland of rodents, where large amounts of porphyrins are synthesized, presents an underexplored potential for understanding the carcinogenic/toxic effect of porphyrin accumulation. Investigating how these animals avoid porphyrin pathogenicity may complement the use of laboratory models for porphyrias and provide new insights into the treatment of these disorders. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: De Oliveira Neves & Galvan (2020) Models for human porphyrias: Have animals in the wild been overlooked? BioEssays. DOI 10.1002/bies.202000155


https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bies.202000155
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The 5,000-year history of the horse

The 5,000-year history of the horse

Horse domestication revolutionized warfare and accelerated travel, trade and the geographic expansion of languages. This study presents the largest genome-scale time-series for a non-human organism to access the legacy of past equestrian civilizations in the genetic makeup of modern horses. It includes 87 new ancient genomes and genome-scale data of 132 animals. Two extinct horse lineages existed during early domestication at the far western (Iberia) and eastern range (Siberia) of Eurasia but contributed only marginally to modern diversity. Mule breeding started at least 2,200 years ago. Persian related horse lineages increasingly influence European and Asian populations in the centuries following the Islamic conquests until modern times. Multiple alleles associated with elite-racing, including at the MSTN "speed gene", only rose in popularity within the last few centuries. Finally, the development of modern breeding impacted genetic diversity more dramatically than all previous millennia of human management. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Fages et al (2019) Tracking five millennia of horse management with extensive ancient genome time series. Cell. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2019.03.049


https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(19)30384-8