Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Genome of a Cockroach

Recently the genome of the American cockroach was fully sequenced by Chinese scientists. The genome is larger than a human's and ranks as the second largest insect genome to be sequenced. Researchers are relating it's genome's length to its adaptability, hardiness and wide variety of adaptations which make it such a successful pest. Able to intake all sorts of 'food' (which can even include glue) and survive in all kinds of conditions, the American cockroach needs the correct proteins to deal with whatever situation arises. Around 1000 of the genes sequenced alone are thought to deal with picking up chemical signals in the cockroach's environment; essential to knowing if a potential food item is safe or not. There might even be benefits for humans found within the cockroach genome. Other genes, necessary for reproduction and growth could be utilized to create more effective pesticides. The genes responsible for the cockroach's incredible regenerative properties may have uses in the human medical field.
Animals, like the cockroach, which are nearly worldwide and amazing at adapting to new environments deserve to be studied more extensively as this team from China has done.

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