Monday, June 9, 2014
Blind mole rat genome sequenced
Nature Communications paper examines the comparative genomics of the blind mole rat. Blind mole rats show unusual resistance to cancer, and this study identified some specific protein changes (at gene p53) that might underlie this medically-relevant trait. Even more interesting -- the study found genomic signatures of adaptations to living underground. For example, changes to circadian rhythm genes (CLOCK) show interesting patterns of convergent evolution with the distantly-related naked mole rat.