Yaks breathe easily in the mountains thanks to changes found in lung cells

(ORDO NEWS) — CT News published an article about a study in which scientists answered the question of why yaks do not suffer from a lack of oxygen, even living at high altitude in the mountains.

Scientists have long known that yaks, as well as dogs and even some people, have some adaptive mechanisms that are genetic in nature, allowing them not to experience discomfort when they are at high altitude.

But as it turns out, yaks also have special cells in their lungs that can give them extra at high altitudes.

A comparison of the DNA of yaks and cattle showed that there are regions of DNA that differ significantly in these close relatives.

Such changes may indicate changes in the activity of a gene that contributed to the adaptation of the animal to the environment.

By studying the activity of genes within individual cells in the lungs of yaks, scientists have discovered a completely new type of cell located in the lining of blood vessels.

The two altered genes were found to be significantly more active than in other lung cells.

The scientists think this cell, which is common in yaks’ lungs, could make the animals’ blood vessels stiffer and more fibrous, helping them cope with the difficult task of breathing relatively low-oxygen air.


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