Friday, April 13, 2018

What We Can Learn from the Cockroach Genome

     The second largest genome in the world belongs to the Periplaneta americana, more commonly known as the cockroach. With a genome larger than that of the human's, there is a lot of data that can be collected from the cockroach. Within its genetic code holds the insect's  secrets to survive in the harshest environments and on such a variety of food in its diet. The cockroach's genome was actually sequenced outside of the United States. At the South China Normal University in Guangzhou, researchers found that the groups of genes related to the immune system, sensory perception, detoxification, and growth and reproduction were all enlarged. This enlargement helped to explain how the cockroach is able to survive in a variety of conditions. Such as freezing cold and blistering heat. Some cockroaches have been observed living for as long as days without their head and showed regeneration of lost limbs. 

     Researchers have taken the data collected from the cockroach genome and are attempting to apply it to humans in hopes to prolong the live span of humans. Some of the genes the researchers are 
attempting to use in humans include genes coded for safety. Nearly 300 genes in the cockroach are able to sense bitter tastes. Which assist the cockroach in which foods are safe to eat and which foods to avoid. Researchers also observed what genes were responsible in limb regeneration. I believe that this is of vital importance in the scientific community. As information in this research can be applied to the human genome. The cockroach's superb ability to survive and adapt to drastic changes in their environment could be taken and, hopefully, be put to use in the genes of humans to enhance the live and livelihood of the human race in the future.

Article Link:

Genome of Cockroach from Chinese research:

1 comment:

  1. This is such a cool idea. If scientists can figure out how to utilize cockroach genes for gene therapy that would be revolutionary. I do think it is possible simple scientists can use transgenesis to make animals glow in the dark. I think there will be complications when trying to apply a cockroach trait to a more complex animal. It seems easier for a cockroach to regenerate a limb but image a mammal. There would need to be regeneration of the bone, then blood vessels, lymph, muscle, and epithelia.