The Last Mammoth: Genetic Defects, Low Sperm Counts, and Even Unsmelled Flowers

BEIJING, March 26 (Xinhua) — According tomedia reports, the last mammoths on Earth are not well off, new research shows that the dwarf mammoths that lived on the Siberian island of Frange about 4,000 years ago were plagued by genetic problems, and their DNA increased their risk of diabetes, developmental defects and low sperm counts. They can’t even smell the flowers.

The Last Mammoth: Genetic Defects, Low Sperm Counts, and Even Unsmelled Flowers

1, new research suggests that dwarf mammoths that lived on the Siberian island of Frange about 4,000 years ago suffer from genetic problems that increase their risk of diabetes, developmental defects and low sperm counts, and that they can’t even smell flowers.

‘I’ve never been to Frange Island, but I’ve been told that the island is full of flowers in the spring, but the last mammothon on Earth may not smell anything,’ said Vincent Lynch, lead researcher on the study and an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Buffalo.

The island of Flangel is so weird that most mammoths died out at the end of the Ice Age about 10,500 years ago, but because of rising sea levels, a group of mammoths were trapped on The Island of Frange and lived there until they finally died about 3,700 years ago. The mammoth population is very isolated, in small numbers, and without much genetic diversity.

Without genetic diversity, mammoth inbreeding may produce harmful genetic mutations, which may be the main cause of their extinction, the researchers note.

The team compared the DNA of a Flegel island mammoth with the DNA samples of three Asian elephants and two other mammoths, and finally came to this conclusion, Lynch said, “Fortunately, we have sequenced the mammoth genome.” “

After comparing the genomes of mammoths and Asian mammoths, the researchers discovered several genetic mutations unique to Flangel Island, and the team worked with a commercial company to re-synthesize the mutant genes of the Flegel Island mammoths and then place them in elephant cells in a petri dish. The experiments allowed the researchers to analyze whether the proteins expressed by the Flegel Island mammoth gene performed their functions correctly, for example, by the right signals from the cells in the mammoth body.

The Last Mammoth: Genetic Defects, Low Sperm Counts, and Even Unsmelled Flowers

2, pictured is the location of The Island of Frange, an isolated and remote island environment where the last mammoths on Earth survived until about 4,000 years ago.

The team tested genes related to neurodevelopment, male fertility, insulin signals and smell, and simply found that the Flangel Island mammoths were not healthy because they did not have the correct function.

The current study looked at only one Flegel Island mammoth, which, due to limited DNA sample sizes, may not fully represent the characteristics of the last mammothon on Earth, and perhaps other Flangel Island mammoths do not have similar mutant genes, perhaps with more genetic defects.

In fact, the Flangel Island mammoth is a cautionary tale that tells scientists what happens when a population of smaller, lacking genetic diversity changes. The study is being published February 7 in the journal Genomic Biology and Evolution.