Science Pub Eugene
|Date: May. 10, 2012||Time: 7:00pm||Located at: Cozmic: 199 W. 8th Ave., Eugene|
|Who is this for: All Ages||Cost: $5 suggested cover charge. No RSVP or tickets required.|
"The Icefish is a Nicefish: Evolutionary Mutant Models of Human Disease"
Some weird species show traits that would be lethal diseases in humans but adapt these strange creatures to their extreme environments. Studying these bizarre animals can illuminate the causes, and perhaps lead to therapies, for human disease. Icefish evolved as the Antarctic Ocean cooled to temperatures lower than the freezing point of pure water. They have profound anemia: they lost the ability to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen in our blood. How do they survive in the icy Antarctic Ocean? Icefish also lost the ability to make strong bones, which mimics bone loss diseases of old age. What evolutionary forces could have caused symptoms that in a human -- or indeed in most fish -- would be lethal or harmful? On the other hand, Antarctic fish 'invented' an antifreeze, which protects them from freezing. At this Science Pub, we will discuss how species gain and lose traits over generations and how investigation of these traits might lead to a new understanding of human diseases related to aging.