by TFH Magazine on August 26, 2011 at 6:52 am
By David E. Boruchowitz
You’ve undoubtedly heard a lot about genome sequencing in various contexts, especially taxonomic and medical. Mapping all of the genes of a species gives scientists a lot of important information. An article just published (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature10342.html) reports on the finding that cod Gadus morhua lack the complete immune system that heretofore was assumed present in all vertebrates. Why don’t all cod get sick and die? They have several adaptations that make up for the missing pathway that give other vertebrates their immune system.
Most hobbyists are concerned about cod only in terms of filets or fish sticks, but this study points out that the more we learn about the diversity of life, the more we are going to be astounded with the significant differences we uncover. Genome studies and immunology are also involved in another finding announced yesterday (25 August)—that certain modern human populations benefit from enhanced immune systems produced by hybridization with close relative like Neandertals. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110825141635.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29