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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] De Oliveira Neves & Galvan (2020) Models for human porphyrias: Have animals in the wild been overlooked? BioEssays. DOI 10.1002/bies.202000155
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Consequences of brown bear viewing tourism: A review

Consequences of brown bear viewing tourism: A review

The brown bear is among the most targeted species for ecotourism in North America and Europe. As bear viewing often occurs in sensitive places where bears congregate for mating, rearing young and/or feeding, it is important to evaluate potential positive and negative effects of different viewing practices. Here available information on bear viewing practices and their effects on bears, people and ecosystems is reviewed. Behavioural, physiological and ecological aspects related to bears are examined from three different perspectives: ecotourism consequences for bears, direct bear-human interactions and social impacts of bear ecotourism. Because bear viewing can have positive and negative impacts on both bear populations and bear-human interactions, it is important to carefully evaluate every practice associated with bear viewing at a local scale.  informacion[at] Penteriani et al (2017) Consequences of brown bear viewing tourism: A review. Biol Conserv 206 168-180