Monday, July 30, 2007

Aquaporin: Water side niche induced?

Dive Physiology: Aquaporin duplication in human genome

[I'd appreciate any comments on whether AQP7 may have duplicated in the human genome (selected for in our ancestors) because of daily diving (breath hold O2 conservation) giving a survival advantage. The article focuses on endurance running on savannas, but I think diving played a larger part in the genetic selection for Aquaporin. Savanna chimps were not selected for aquaporin duplication any more than chimps which live in the deepest tropical rainforest, and savanna baboons were not selected for more aquaporin than rainforest monkeys, so savanna living does not equal higher aquaporin duplication.

However, more efficient energy production while underwater is valuable to a breath-hold diver, for better endurance underwater (while surrounded by abundant water supplies) and extra fat stores is not detrimental to a diver (it insulates the body core aka "bioprene") but may be detrimental for a distance runner. See the Kenyan marathon runners and San Bushmen persistence hunters in the Kalahari desert, generally very skinny, almost no fat reserves, amidst scarce water resources.]

An analysis of DNA from 10 primate species reveals that, compared with the genome of chimpanzees and gorillas, our genome includes many more duplicates of a gene called aquaporin 7 (AQP7), which transports water and sugary compounds into cells. Humans appear to have five copies of this gene, whereas chimps have just two, and other primates carry only one copy.

Humans are believed to possess anywhere from 20,000 to 25,000 different genes. But in some cases, we carry multiple copies of the same gene. And the more duplicates of a gene that exist within a cell, the more protein from the gene that gets produced, according to James Sikela at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Aurora, Colorado, US.

Given the potential influence exerted by extra gene copies, Sikela and his colleagues wondered how humans might differ from other primate species in terms of the number of duplicates we carry. The team extracted DNA from blood samples taken from various primates including humans...

The researchers calculated how many copies of various genes each species carries with the help of DNA "micro-array" technology. If large quantities of the DNA from a given genome attached to certain parts of the micro-array chip, this indicated that it contained multiple copies of a specific gene.

After using this method to screen more than 20,000 genes, Sikela and his colleagues found 84 genes for which the copy number in the human genome differs from that of other primates.

The aquaporin AQP7 gene in particular caught their attention. The protein made by the gene functions as an important channel in the cell membrane. Specifically, the channel allows water and a sugary compound called glycerol to enter the cell, where they are used to produce energy. This has the potential to make a difference in long bouts of exercise, when the body needs to mobilise energy molecules from fat stores.

Separate article on aquaporin family, re: kidneys, testes, fat use, blood. see bottom.

Oxytocin & vasopressin derive from ancestral vertebrate vasocontin 500ma.

Malaysian shark has no webbed feet

Those are claspers which male sharks use to attach to females for reproduction.

The USM research fellow Dr. Yasin was misinformed or was speaking about the news article below, he was speaking of the coelecanth fish, a 4 legged fish which was thought to be extinct but still lives offshore Sulawesi and Comoros islands. One coelecanth was recently captured by a fisherman in a dug-out canoe 200 m from the beach at 100 m depth with fishing line and hooks.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Marine Bio Lab established at Gulf in Dubai

Dubai: A marine biology laboratory is being developed by real estate giants Nakheel and the United Nations University to enhance environmental monitoring of the Arabian Gulf and assess water quality. The United Nations University - International Network for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) is a United Nations entity created to strengthen global water management capabilities.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Nakheel and Environment Health and Safety (EHS), the regulatory arm of Dubai World to sustain the analysis undertaken across all Nakheel marine developments.

UNU-INWEH will train staff on the latest ecological monitoring technology and provide unbiased and objective analysis. The new marine biology laboratory, and major new analytical instrumentation at the existing lab, EHS will have the resources needed for coastal monitoring activities in Dubai waters and the wider region.

Coral Reef Monitoring at Dubai UAE in association with World Wildlife Fund and Nat'l Coral Reef Ctr in Florida

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Cyprus mariners 10ka;_ylt=

Noted by Marc V.

Towers of life

Vertical artificial reefs from oil platforms

swallowing swords underwater

Needs good pharynx-larynx control, to keep air in lungs.

Hope he doesn't hiccup! I don't think it's possible to hiccup while underwater apnea.

Thanks to Naiad for putting it at DB.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pictures of Humboldt Bay hydro/ecosystem

Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center (HBAC)

HBAC is a new building complex, affiliated with Humboldt State University, in Eureka along the shoreline next to the Adorni Activity Center. Classrooms, boat storage...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Diving Yacht!

THE NEW BOAT: "A hole in the water you throw money into!"

65' Custom Built Motoryacht, staterooms, GPS navigation, twin supercharged diesels, etc......... $2.5 million.
Crane and Rigging complete with faulty turnbuckle......... $2,500 per hour

Champagne and Strawberries, dockside, for the excited "soon to be owners"........... $250.00

Watching your dreamboat nose dive into the harbor, accompanied by two corporate representatives just prior to "inking" the final paperwork........

Priceless................. ..................CALL THE INSURANCE COMPANY....!!!!!!!!!

Check out the guy on the stern in the second picture, (scope it) holding on for the ride of the day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Spatial geometry of dopamine in eye

Vis Neurosci. 1991 Nov;7(5):487-98.Related Articles, Links

Spatial geometry of the dopamine innervation in the avascular area of the human fovea.

Savy C, Simon A, Nguyen-Legros J.

Laboratoire de Neurocytologie Oculaire (INSERM U-86), Paris, France.

The dopamine (DA) innervation, labeled by tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry in a wholemounted human retina, is described in the avascular area of the fovea. Eleven DA neurons give rise to this innervation, among which five are interplexiform cells, so that the DA innervation consists of two plexuses: one is internal and is formed by the dendrites of all of the DA cells, and the other is external and is formed by the scleral processes of the interplexiform cells. Five concentric zones are delineated according to the focal plane in which the internal DA plexus is observed. The central zone 1 contains DA processes crossing in all directions. Zones 2 and 3 do not contain any cell bodies. In zone 3 the internal plexus begins to undergo a concentric arrangement, which is clearly observed in zones 4 and 5. The external DA innervation displays a different appearance in zones 1, 2, and 3, in which it consists of vertically oriented thin processes and terminals penetrating the outer nuclear layer, vs. zones 4 and 5 in which it consists of both the same type and horizontal processes lying in the outer plexiform layer. On the basis of DA-innervation appearance and distribution of labeled and unlabeled cell somata, it was concluded that zones 1, 2, and 3 contained the DA innervation of the foveola. DA processes filtering between photoreceptor cells are particularly well-observed in this region. This anatomical study of the DA innervation in the human fovea leads to a better understanding of the important role of DA in primate central vision and can be used as a reference for an approach of macular pathology.

PMID: 1684910 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
(Dopamine is found in the mollusc foot as part of the adhesive secretions, as well as in the mammal brain)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Human vestiges, vertebrae inherited from ancestors

(Bahasa Indonesia links to English article on vestiges in humans eg. sinuses, wisdom teeth, hair...)

Humans have backs with spinal transverse processes different than monkeys. The twist from front-back to side - side occurred 21ma in Morotopithecus in Uganda, and remains in humans, great apes but not other primates. (likely: cold-water gasp /hyperventilated call inflated laryngeal air sac providing semi-vertical flotation/wading H-oid estuarboreal phase)

pdf file on spine changes from monkeys and lesser apes to great apes and humans, by Dr. Filler:

Critique by Marc V.:
This "evidence" is by no means evidence:
1) Pickford etc. think Morotop is only 15-17 Ma.
2) The vertebrae might be Proconsul maior, not Morotop.
3) Filler did not consider arm-hanging, nor swimming-diving, nor wading.

Atelids seem to look more like apes than like other monkeys
in the position of the proc.transv., so it's possible that
arm-hanging, not bipedality, is important here.

The reorientation of the iliac blades (more dorsal superior
iliac spine in Filler's paper) seems to be what discerns
Homo (or at least Hs) from apiths-apes.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Diving Tigers

WOW!! Harimau selam dalam pool, makan daging dalam air.

Whaling caused penguin diet change

When whale hunting began using large crews, ships and equipment, the reduced number of whales consumed much fewer krill (shrimp), so while fishing reduced fisheries stocks, krill stocks rose, so penguins switched their diet from fish to krill in some areas.

Elephant Fish sing electrically

These fish produce weak electric currents which they use to sense objects like sonar and to transmit info to mates, but not to shock their prey.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Skull density & diving / sonar

The bottlenose whale (Odontocetes, {Not tursiops}) has the densest bone (beak/rostrum) of any animal, it is a deep-diving squid-eater. Per a book on whales, from Crescent City Library.

From Marc V: AFAIK, dense skeletons are seen in slow (prob. fat) shallow divers in salt water, who dive(d) for sessile bottom foods: seacows, walrus, Odobenocetops, Kolponomos, some Thalassocnus spp & coastal Homo er. The bottlenose whale's dense rostrum does not clearly belong to this group.

Skull/skeleton densities have to do with buoyancy (cf.fat content: sea mammals have to be overall about as dense as the surrounding water, I'd think) & audition (bone conductance, incl.sonar). Mysticetes have rather low-density skeletons (I guess finwhales (fast) have even lighter bones).


Cameron's link to a paper on it:

"I've read that the densest bone known to science belongs to Mesoplodon densirostris. This (free) paper believes the most likely function to be protection in intraspecific male combat":

Thursday, July 5, 2007

blue skin in mammals

coloration: blue spot correlation? melanin? structural color?

North Coast Marine Mammal Center

Crescent City, Calif.
NCMMC has animal hospital for seals, sea lions. Outside pens allow visitors to watch recuperating pups and feedings. Next to beach. Volunteer training.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Throat sacs: float vs diving

hominoids: lar. air sac, no dive
humans: no air sac, dive

walrus: phar. air sac
whale: internal air sacs, sperm whale has double air sac above upper jaw

Frog: part skin breather, large vocal sac, very vocal, tail loss at youth, hops, qpal on branches
Salamander: full skin breather, medium vocal sac, silent, long tail, slithers/qpal walks on ground