Fructose-driven glycolysis supports anoxia resistance in the naked mole-rat

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Science  21 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6335, pp. 307-311
DOI: 10.1126/science.aab3896

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  • RE: Fructose-driven glycolysis supports anoxia resistance in the naked mole-rat
    • Marc Verhaegen, Medical Doctor, Study Center for Anthropology, B-2580 Belgium.

    Park et al. (1) show that, whereas mice die in less than a minute without oxygen, naked molerats can survive 18 minutes under oxygen deprivation. In 2009, the human free-diver Stéphane Mifsud held his breath for more than 11 minutes (static apnea). It would be interesting to know how long chimpanzees and other primates can hold their breath. An explanation for this unexpectedly long oxygen deprivation in humans might be the littoral hypothesis of human evolution. Different lines of evidence (2) suggest that early-Pleistocene populations of archaic Homo did not disperse intercontinentally running over open plains, but simply followed the African and Eurasian coasts and rivers, for instance, the relatively large-brained Homo erectus child of Mojokerto on Java, possibly 1.8 million years old, fossilized amid shellfish and barnacles, probably in a river delta at the time. They might have collected different sorts of waterside foods, wading bipedally, and parttime diving for shellfish and other littoral foods. Littoral foods are extremely rich in brain-specific nutrients, such as docosahexaenoid acid (DHA), iodine, taurine and oligo-elements, which helps explain the dramatic brain enlargements seen in archaic Homo species.
    1. T. Park et al., Fructose-driven glycolysis supports anoxia resistance in the naked mole-rat. Science 356, 307-311 (2017).
    2. M. Verhaegen, S Munro, Pachyosteosclerosis suggests archaic Homo frequently collected sessile littoral foods. J. Compar...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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