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Re: Animal that can freeze solid and hold its breath for 4 months

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Animal that can freeze solid and hold its breath for 4 months
April 30, 2013 07:15PM
Turtle can freeze solid and survive, and we have those same genes

By Deborah Netburn

April 10, 2013, 7:00 a.m.
Look beyond the western painted turtle's colorful stripes and you’ll find an animal that seems to have nearly magical powers.

A baby western painted turtle can freeze solid, and as long as nothing cracks it in half or tampers with it too much, the turtle will be just fine when the temperature warms up and its body thaws out. An adult western painted turtle can go without oxygen for up to 30 hours at room temperature, and if the temperature drops to 37 degrees, it can hold its breath for up to four months at a stretch.

So when more than 50 international researchers launched a project to sequence the painted turtle genome several years ago, they weren't just hoping to answer questions about how it would differ from the genome of other animals but also to discover the unique genes that allow it to freeze without getting frostbite and exhibit no brain damage even after living for months without oxygen.

What they discovered is that the turtle’s genome is not that different from our own.

Re: Animal that can freeze solid and hold its breath for 4 months
May 01, 2013 04:32AM
Freeze solid and hold its breath? I thought this story was about my old lady.
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