Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/9/2014 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2016
Universal:
Sports: That sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world.
Evangelization: Living the Gospel: That Christians may live the Gospel, giving witness to faith, honesty, and love of neighbor.



Comments


More Health

St. Padre Pio helps dying newborn miraculously recover after 25 DAYS on life support Watch

Image of (Photo by: Ciara Wilkinson/Irish Mirror)

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Three-month-old Caitlin Dooley suffered from a life-threatening heart condition since the day she was born. Just when the Dooley family began to lose hope, St. Padre Pio stepped in. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Irish Mirror, at just 11-days-old, ... continue reading


New study reveals the truth about sexual orientation and gender identity Watch

Image of The truth about sexual orientation and gender identity (McPIG: An Introduction to the McGill University Sexual Identity Centre).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

For most young people who experience feelings of gender dysphoria, the experience is in fact temporary, and a non-heterosexual orientation is not as fixed as sometimes claimed, a new overview of the relevant research says. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "Only a ... continue reading


Miraculous face transplant restores faceless firefighter's faith in life Watch

Image of Patrick Harden before his face transplant.

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Fifteen years ago, volunteer firefighter Patrick Hardison suffered extreme facial burns while responding to a house fire. He lost a large portion of his face, including his eyelids, ears, lips, hair and most of his nose. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hardison, ... continue reading


'I lead a simple and disciplined life': Fit and healthy monk reveals secret to long life Watch

Image of The secret to a long life? One monk tells all (Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An Indian monk claiming to be 120-years-old has revealed his secret to a long, healthy life. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Swami Sivananda appears to be a physically fit and his clean bill of health suggests he has led a long, healthy life.Sivananda plans to ... continue reading


ANOTHER insurer drops out of Obamacare as system continues to collapse Watch

Image of Aetna is the next insurer to drop out of Obamacare.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

As Aetna pulls out of the Obamacare marketplace across most of the country, the moral failure of the Affordable Care Act becomes apparent. The ACA is neither affordable or sustainable. It is a complete failure that worsens with time. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


50 PERCENT INCREASE! Obamacare close to collapse, or success, depending on how you view it Watch

Image of Obamacare will only get worse, it can never get better because the government pays with a blank check each year.

By Marshall Connolly, (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The cost of Obamacare continues to skyrocket, surpassing all expectations. Obamacare is inching closer to failure. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Obamacare is inching closure to failure, or success, depending on its aim. If Obamacare was designed to provide ... continue reading


'Myself and my family are indebted to him for life': How one priest's decision began a life-saving movement Watch

Image of Fr Davis Chiramel began a beautiful movement in India.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A Bishop, nun and thirteen clerics have decided to follow Father Davis Chiramel's lead when he gave the gift of life to a poor electrician. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to <a ... continue reading


'Dr. Frankenstein' to conduct world's first human head transplant Watch

Image of Valery Spiridonov is set to become the world's first human transplant patient (EPA).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Dr. Sergio Canavero, nicknamed Dr. Frankenstein, believes he can conduct a controversial operation to give a terminally ill man one more chance at life. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Valery Spiridonov suffers from the very serious muscular atrophy disease ... continue reading


HIV outbreak spreads across US - Obama administration scrambles to control it Watch

Image of What has led to the spread of HIV (Avert)?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The United States enters a prescription opioid and heroin epidemic while the Obama Administration attempts to control it. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Guardian reported an alarming increase in an ongoing HIV outbreak across the United States.The primary ... continue reading


SEX BAN - British tourists advised to practice abstinance while visiting US Watch

Image of Zika can be spread through sexual contact or mosquito bites (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Britain warns citizens against visiting the United States following a breakout of the Zika virus. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Telegraph, Public Health England (PHE) advised all British tourists visiting Florida should abstain from sexual ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 3:1-9
1 And so, brothers, I was not able to talk to you as spiritual people; I ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:12-13, 14-15, 20-21
12 How blessed the nation whose God is Yahweh, the people he has chosen ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:38-44
38 Leaving the synagogue he went to Simon's house. Now Simon's ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 31st, 2016 Image

St. Raymond Nonnatus
August 31: Raymond was born at Portella, Catalonia, Spain. ... Read More