Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/9/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

How do these husky white bruins remain healthy on such a diet?

Polar bears - those white-hued iceberg living bruins that appear to be poster children for global warming, are remarkably healthy - by subsisting on a diet of fat, fat and even more fat. How can these sturdy survivors, who swim great lengths of water and endure unconscionably cold conditions continue to thrive on a diet like that? Researchers have a surprising answer to that question -

A baby polar bear drinks milk that's 27 percent fat - small change compared to the two percent us humans drink out of a carton.

A baby polar bear drinks milk that's 27 percent fat - small change compared to the two percent us humans drink out of a carton.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/9/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Polar bears, fat, diet, longevity, genes, evolution


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The polar bear's white fur is a big help as it helps them blend in with ice floes to sneak up on their breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their body fat also helps them to stay warm.

More importantly, polar bears have genes that help them live on a diet that's overloaded with fat. This helps them withstand the sorts of human diseases that typically come with a fat-heavy diet.

Find out how you can fill the gaps to end world hunger - by going here!

A baby polar bear drinks milk that's 27 percent fat - small change compared to the two percent us humans drink out of a carton. Adults feed mostly on blubbery seals which allows them to build up so much insulation that bears can be 50 percent fat by weight.

It's highly unlikely that polar bears could survive as a species if they hadn't developed an ability to live on a high-fat diet. So what's their secret?

Researchers say they've found clues in the genes of polar bears. An international team has taken a close look at the polar bear genome to understand how this species split off from its close cousin, the brown bear.

The genes related to fur color have mutated, as expected. The changes occur in a genetic region that's linked to a human condition called Chediak-Hikashi syndrome, which causes loss of pigment in the skin and eyes.

These genes seem key to polar bear evolution are gives an indication as to how these animals handle their fatty diet. A gene called VCL is linked to heart disease in humans. In polar bears, this gene has undergone a dramatic evolution, compared with the VCL gene in the brown bear.

There's something else that's endangering this species, however. The sea ice that polar bears use as a platform to catch seals is shrinking, threatening the species' existence.

"Based on this evidence, we argue that potentially important reorganization of the cardiovascular system has taken place in polar bears since their divergence from brown bears," researchers write.

The rapid genetic changes might also have been spurred on by the long-distance swimming that polar bears do. Bears that have cardiovascular genes that help endurance are presumably at an advantage, so those genes are more likely to be passed on to future generations.

The report suggests that polar bears evolved quite recently - just 400,000 years ago. That may prove to be contentious. Another puts the split between brown bears and polar bears at four million to five million years ago.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Health

12,000 children may be exposed to HIV and Hepatitis from unsterile surgical equipment at hospital Watch

Image of The Seattle Children's Hospital is under controversy once again.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Seattle's Bellevue clinic Children's Hospital contacts the parents of 12,000 children who might have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis due to un-sterile surgical equipment. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Parents of roughly 12,000 children who were ... continue reading


High vaccination rates help protect communities Watch

Image of Pockets of unvaccinated people pose health risks to the immune-compromised population.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Following the Disneyland Measles outbreak, more and more U.S. parents are vaccinating their children. Despite the increased number of "vaccinators," "anti-vaccers" pose a public health risk. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and ... continue reading


The Universal Flu Vaccine: Researchers are closer to a solution that attacks a different part of the virus Watch

Image of Human immune response to influenza is directed against a protein on the virus called hemagglutinin, and a portion of the protein called the hemagglutinin head, where the majority of the mutations occur.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a universal misery that comes whenever the weather cools or it starts to rain. Influenza begins to settle in to a large part of the population, leading to school and job absences. Researchers now say hat attacking a largely hidden part of the influenza ... continue reading


Grandmother miraculously beats eight different cancers in a row Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Many people lose hope while battling cancer and experience even more trauma when they fight the same disease again and again. Despite the constant evolution of technology, there are still risks of developing different forms of cancer at any time. However, one ... continue reading


Hepatitis C finally given approval in United Kingdom after 'inexcusable wait' Watch

Image of Sufferer Pamela Anderson claims she got Hepatitis C from her ex-husband Tommy Lee after they shared tattoo needles.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It comes as wonderful news for untold thousands of Hepatitis C sufferers, albeit one that came after an "Inexcusable wait." The once-a-day drug sofosbuvir has a 90 percent success rate by patients - and will be available free of charge for patients in the ... continue reading


First human brain grown in laboratory dubbed success, despite scientific doubt Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the first time in the history of science, an almost full-grown human brain was successfully grown outside the body and in a laboratory by a team of researchers. According to The Guardian, the brain is a size comparable to that of a 5-week-old fetus. The brain will ... continue reading


Modern Paleo diet may not be so Paleolithic Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Carbohydrates, largely overlooked in the modern Paleo diet, were actually a part of the food group consumed by our hunting-and-gathering forefathers, according to a new study published earlier this month. Although the diet works effectively on some trying to lose ... continue reading


Is coffee really good for you? New research finds coffee may reduce risk of some cancers Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Caffeinated coffee drinkers are at a lower risk of having bowel cancer, as well as dying from the disease and other types, according to recent data. Those who drink four to five mugs of coffee a day were found to cut, by almost a half, the odds of bowel cancer ... continue reading


'Brainy' mice research may lead to effective treatment for Alzheimer's Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Genetically altered mice tend to be more intelligent and exhibit less anxiety, according to new research. The discovery is speculated to be a part of a more comprehensive study regarding treatment to diseases like Alzheimer's post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and ... continue reading


Study finds intelligence related to a longer lifespan Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A longer lifespan is related to intelligence contributed by the genetic makeup, according to new research. Analyzing three twin studies, a research team found that the link between intelligence and a person's life expectancy is about 95 percent because of genetics, ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 1:17-19
17 'As for you, prepare yourself for action. Stand up ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 29th, 2015 Image

St. Sabina
August 29: St. Sabina's feast day is August 29th. We know St. Sabina only ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter