Monday, November 30, 2015

Vampire Bat's saliva is specially evolved for blood feeding

This article talks about how vampire bats over many years have adapted from being insect and fruit eating bats to how they have acquired the trait of consuming blood. Scientists have been studying the saliva of vampire bats and comparing it to other species that suck blood from mammals. They found that sanguivorous leeches also have that gene that allows them to feed off of mammalian blood. The gene that the scientists have found is secreted along with the saliva. Scientists have also found that this gene is not present in other insect eating or fruit eating bats. Three discoveries were made regarding this gene for blood feeding: gene recruitment, alternative splicing and genome reorganization. Scientists hope that later on, they will find more species that feed on blood so that they can elaborate on the three processes that involve blood feeding.

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