The ScienceDaily article discusses Washington State University’s RNA sequencing-based genetic research discovering that grizzly bears express a large quantity of genes during hibernation preparation and hibernation itself in an attempt to cope with stressors.
Information between the article and original publication do indeed align. For example, in order to compare the dramatic difference between humans with grizzly bears, the article discusses studies done on humans that found that “hibernating” as a human for just one day can result in immense changes in blood glucose and bone and muscle loss. This was discussed throughout the original publication of the journal.
In regard to areas of weakness, the article only uses the original journal article as a source, a statement from the lead author of the journal article, and information provided by Washington State University, providing no outside perspectives. Furthermore, there is no information about the author, be it any contact information, biography, or access to past publications. Finally, there were advertisements scattered throughout the article, including a sponsored one, which impact its presentation.
This article takes a look into how bears have evolved to be able to hibernate and avoid disadvantages such as heart problems, bone loss, blood chemistry changes and more. Research has shown that grizzly bears express more genes than humans, and any other species that has ever been studied. It is essential that these bears express these genes to prepare for and cope with stressors during the long months of hibernation.
The ability of grizzlies to go months without eating and urinating, and essentially causing collateral damage to their bodies are thanks to gene expression. Bears are able to switch certain genes on and off, depending on what time of year it is. Fat accumulation is an example of this; there are over a thousand unique genes in fat accumulation that are expressed during hibernation that are not expressed during a bear’s active months. These genes are also able to be up/downregulated to serve the animal best.
This article goes into great detail as to how bears are able to control their gene expression for the long months of hibernation, while still making sure it is something that any member of the general public could read. The source for the news story is well displayed at the top of the page, with a link to the official journal at the end.
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