Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

Independent evolution found in hemoglobin from hummingbirds

See also

Jay F. Storz from the University of Nebraska and colleagues from Aarhus University in Denmark, the University of Illinois, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of New Mexico are the first to reveal how hummingbirds that reside at high altitudes are able to retain sufficient oxygen for life in the Dec. 2, 203, edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More Photos

The researchers investigated the structure of hemoglobin in several species of hummingbirds that are native to the Andes. Each species lived at different elevations in the Andes.

Each species of hummingbird revealed a hemoglobin molecule that had a different affinity with oxygen. Hummingbirds that normally live at high altitudes had hemoglobin that entrapped and held oxygen longer than lower altitude birds.

The researchers used computer simulation to recreate the most ancient ancestors of present day Andean hummingbirds and found that the locus of differentiation in the hummingbird hemoglobin was a mutation in two amino acids.

The scientists further discovered that this hemoglobin adaptation occurred independently in each species of hummingbird. All Andean hummingbirds do not have a common ancestor. The modification in hummingbird hemoglobin affinity with oxygen varies with elevation.

The research also indicates that the molecular basis of adaptive evolution may be more predictable than previously thought.

Advertisement

News

  • Pro-Russians killed
    Putin issues a warning after 3 armed protestors were shot dead in Ukraine
    Video
    Watch Video
  • Korean ferry capsizes
    Only one of 46 life boats were used in the South Korean ferry sinking
    World News
  • Oscar Pistorius trial
    Oscar Pistorius reads a Valentines Day card from his deceased girlfriend without tears
    Crime News
  • Google patent
    Google applies for patent for what could be the successor to Google Glass
    Tech News
  • 420 in Colorado
    Colorado will celebrate 420 for the first time since marijuana became legal
    Headlines
  • Racist Kansas murderer
    Why isn't the Jewish Community Center shooter being labeled as a terrorist?
    Video
    Watch Video

Related Videos:

  • Purchase Your Pair of Google Glass Today
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518193403" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518193403&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Camp Invention
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/p3XUiL6YDcY?VQ=HD720&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Stanford scientists Matthew Kanan and Christina Li have created an oxide-derived copper catalyst that converts carbon monoxide to ethanol.
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518178005" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518178005&autoStart=true"></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!