Scientists have uncovered the genetic secrets of lizards with green blood

© Photo : Chris Austin, LSUЗеленокровный skink, whose genetic history scientists have uncoveredScientists have uncovered the genetic secrets of lizards with green blood© Photo : Chris Austin, LSUПодпишись to daily updates RIA Science

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. For the first time biologists have deciphered the DNA selengkapnya Skinks – unique lizards with green blood which is toxic to all other animals of the Earth, and found that this unusual feature was observed in them four times, according to a paper published in the journal Science Advances.

«In addition to the highest level of bile in the blood, these lizards somehow developed an immunity to its toxic effect on the body. Understanding why jaundice is not killing them, will help us to approach some of the problems with human health in an unexpected way,» said Rodriguez Zachary (Zachary Rodriguez) from Louisiana state University in Baton Rouge (United States).

In the mid-19th century, the first European naturalists who visited New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, discovered on their territory several types of very unusual lizards, more like poisonous salamanders and vipers of medieval tales and legends than actual living beings.

These lizards, selengkapnya Skinks (Prasinohaema), possess several unique and unusual features. As geckos and anoles, these lizards are able to climb up most smooth surfaces, including glass, and their blood contains a record number of biliverdin, one of the main components of bile. Due to this their blood, tongue and mouth painted in a bright green color.

Scientists, as noted by the geneticist, for a long time wondering why such a high concentration of bile does not kill the Skinks, and the answer to this question yet. Rodriguez and his colleagues have taken the first step to answering this question by deciphering the DNA of all known species selenocosmia Skinks and finding out when and how they would acquire such an unusual line.

As shown by the comparison of their DNA with the genomes of other lizards, Skinks selengkapnya all come from one common and four different ancestors, each of which had a normal red blood several million years ago. They all learned to tolerate high concentrations of bile and «dyed» his blood in a green color independently from one another.

Such an unexpected conclusion suggests, this unique feature selenographic Skinks were not accidental and were very helpful from the point of view of their survival and further evolution.

The reason for this, as scientists believe, may be the fact that biliverdin is helping the lizards to defend themselves against malaria and other parasitic infections for which bile is as strong a poison, as humans and other multicellular animals. In addition, the substance is a strong antioxidant, which can also extend the life of Skinks.

If so, then disclosure of the secret of their survival and reproduction can solve several problems at once, including to create a cure for malaria and other tropical infections caused by protozoa.