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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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Buffering effect offered by a modular structure

Buffering effect offered by a modular structure

Networks with a modular structure are expected to have a lower risk of global failure. However, this theoretical result has remained untested until now. An experimental microarthropod (Folsomia candida) metapopulation was used to test the effect of modularity on the response to perturbation. One local population was perturbed and the spread of the impact of this perturbation was measured, both within and between modules. Results show the buffering capacity of modular networks. To assess the generality of these findings, then a dynamical model of the system was analyzed. In the absence of perturbations, modularity is negatively correlated with metapopulation size. However, even when a small local perturbation occurs, this negative effect is offset by a buffering effect that protects the majority of the nodes from the perturbation. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Gilarranz et al (2017) Effects of network modularity on the spread of perturbation impact in experimental metapopulations. SCIENCE 357: 199-201 DOI 10.1126/science.aal4122


http://science.sciencemag.org/content/357/6347/199.full