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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
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ScienceShot: How Lazy Crabs Become Marathon Runners Overnight
30 April 2010 1:33 pm
Following months of relative inactivity, Christmas Island red crabs run a marathon. In only 5 to 6 days, they migrate from their rainforest homes to the ocean—a trek of about 5 kilometers--to mate. How do they get in shape so quickly? To find out, researchers traveled to Christmas Island and collected leg muscles from the crabs during their migration and 6 months later, when the crabs were back in the rainforest taking it easy. Genetic analysis revealed significant differences in expression in 14 genes between the two samples, the team reports online today in May issue of The Journal of Experimental Biology. Those changes help the crabs prepare their muscles for the long, arduous journey by altering the way in which they produce energy. Gene activity in the non-trekking crabs helps muscle fibers engage in anaerobic metabolism, which doesn't require oxygen and is suited to short-duration exercise. Gene expression in the migrating crabs, on the other hand, fosters aerobic metabolism, which requires oxygen and is best suited to high-endurance activities. Meanwhile, we humans still have to rely on good old fashioned training to tone up for a race.