High hopes for heart disease as boffins decode the giraffe genome

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High hopes for heart disease as boffins decode the giraffe genome

Mice with giraffe gene mutations were found to suffer less cardiovascular and organ damage than a control group

Cape Town bureau chief

It might sound like a tall story, but giraffe genes could one day help humans with heart disease.

A gene which allows giraffes to withstand the high blood pressure their height requires  without severe damage to their cardiovascular system should be a target for research by medical scientists, researchers said this week.

Writing in the journal Science Advances (https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/12/eabe9459), biologists who introduced giraffe gene mutations into mice found the small rodents suffered less cardiovascular and organ damage than a control group when they were medicated to increase their blood pressure, and grew more compact and denser bones...

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