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Leopard geckos, Native in the Middle East են are the most common reptiles in Asia, kept as pets. Lizards are easily bred in captivity, and breeders often create eggs or variants with unique color patterns that sometimes sell for thousands of dollars.

When reptile breeder Steve Sykes spotted two leopard geckos at an auction in 2015 with unusual, lemon-sherbet-colored spots with small black dots, he bought them on the spot, Christie Wilcox reports. Scientist:, (Pair ig sold for a whopping $ 10,000).

Sikes named the reptiles “Mrs. Frost” because they belong to a rare variety of so-called “lemon frost” leopard geckos. Observing their offspring, Sikes spotted small white spheres growing on some of the bodies of the little lizards, Maddie Bender reports. American scientist,

When Sikes bred Mr. Frosty with other female lizards, he soon formed a colony of more than 900 newborns, according to Maria Temming. Science news80% of all Mr. Frosty generations developed tumors before the age of five.

Sikes then received a letter from Longua Guo, a geneticist at the University of California, Los Angeles. Guo և’s team was interested in learning more about the genetics underlying color variation in genetics. Instead, Sikes immediately suggested that Guo’s team investigate what was happening to his icy lemon gecko. Scientists: reports.

Now, in a new study published this month PLOS geneticsResearchers have found that the melanoma-related gene in humans is responsible for both the oily tinge of leopard’s leprosy geckos and their deadly tumors. As a result of further research, Mr. Frost և and his descendants could help scientists better understand the progression of skin cancer և develop future treatments. Scientist: reports.

Genetic testing has shown that lizards have developed a mutation in a single copy of the SPINT1 gene that has previously been linked to human cancer. Scientist: reports.

“It turns out that SPINT1 can explain what’s going on here, because SPINT1 has been reported in zebras, mice and humans. [Mutations in the gene] “They are associated with skin cell tumors,” says Guo American scientist,

The mutated gene causes overproduction of iridophores or pigment-producing cells in lizard scales. American scientist reports. Overproduction of iridofor gives lizards a unique pastel color, but seems to cause tumors.

However, one mystery remains. Some lizards developed large tumors that grew rapidly over several months, while others had slow-growing, small tumors that developed over several years. (And some, like Mr. Frost, never have any visible tumors at all.) Guo և’s team suspects that other genes may affect the faster progression of the tumor, reports Scientist:,

Per: American scientistIn some cases, the tumor suppressor gene can prevent the spread of cancer, which can be an intriguing way to further study. says Lara Urban, a conservation genomics scientist at the University of Otago in New Zealand who did not participate in the study.

“I think it will have an impact on cancer research because we understand its preservation [SPINT1 genetic] The road is a little better now, ”says Urban American scientist“It will be a potentially new model organism to study the development of skin cancer and to promote real therapeutic development.”

Tumors համար To further explore possible treatments, Guo hopes to develop cancer iridophores in the laboratory. Scientist: reports.

As for Mr. Frosty, his dynasty, Sikes devoted geckos to science;

“We have stopped growing lemon frosts, we do not intend to start it again in the future,” says Sikes. American scientist“My goal is to produce beautiful, perfect, healthy geckos. And it turns out that it is possible to separate the lemon frostbite gene from this tumor phenotype. “

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