Bajau 'sea nomads' developed enlarged spleens for deep diving

The new study found that the spleens of the Bajau people are 50 per cent larger than those of their land-dwelling neighbours the Saluan. This image shows a Bajau diver displaying a traditional wooden diving mask

The group is known as "sea nomads", given their sea-dependent traditions: The Bajau spend almost two-thirds of their work day in the water diving to collect crustaceans and sea cucumbers or spearfish octopuses and other aquatic food at depths as far as 230 feet, researchers said. Members of the Bajau can dive up to 70 meters with nothing more than a set of weights and a pair of wooden goggles.

But while the Bajau people's talents have always been known, it was unclear whether the skill was the result of practice, as in the case of the excellent underwater vision of Thai "sea nomad" children, or the result of adaptations which have their roots in the Bajau people's DNA.

The evolutionary quirk, developed over hundreds or thousands of years, enables the Bajau tribe of "fish people" in Indonesia to work eight-hour diving shifts to spear fish and octopus for their families. Their fascinating abilities have prompted the University of Copenhagen and the University of California-Berkeley to conduct scientific studies on the anatomy of the Bajau people and the results were shared on the Cell. "There's nothing like seeing them in the water".

Anthropologist Cynthia Beall from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, isn't yet convinced Ilardo and her colleagues fully understand what's happened with the Bajau.

A second genetic adaptation associated with the Bajau involves the constriction of blood vessels in the extremities to preserve oxygen for vital organs. Lastly, the spleen contracts. Ilardo measured their spleen sizes using an ultrasound machine and took saliva samples for genomic sequencing. "I hadn't really heard much about the spleen". Its roles include filtering out old cells and supporting the immune system.

Among populations living at high altitudes, who also have to cope with low oxygen levels, researchers have previously found different genetic adaptations that converge on the same phenotype, all in some way affecting red blood cell count, notes Theodore Schurr, an anthropological geneticist at the University of Pennsylvania who was not involved in the study. She explained that the connection between genetics, enlarged spleen and diving has not been made before in humans.

The brand new examine discovered that the spleens of the Bajau individuals are 50 per cent bigger than these of their land-dwelling neighbours, the Saluan.

Israel's Netanyahu calls for action against Iran at 70th Independence Day
In just a short time, the people of Israel have created a successful nation that has flourished and continues to thrive. The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S.

But while the Bajau people's talents have always been known, it was unclear whether the skill was the result of practice. Ilardo chose to see whether Bajau spleens were similarly special. The gene is thought to alter spleen size by adjusting thyroid hormone levels.

"We believe that in the Bajau they have an adaptation that increases Thyroid hormone levels and therefore increases their spleen size", added Miss Ilardo.

Dr. Rodney C. Jubilado from the University of Hawaii who was not a part of the study stated that he first aw the Bajau people when he lived on the Samal Island in the Philippines and was always "fascinated" by them. "There we saw this hugely significant difference", she says. Moon studies how the human body responds to both high altitudes and extreme depths.

In mice, "PDE10A is known for regulating a thyroid hormone that controls spleen size, lending support for the idea that the Bajau might have evolved the spleen size necessary to sustain their long and frequent dives, ' said the study".

They spend 60 percent of their daily working time underwater and can stay underwater for up to 13 minutes at a time, the study said. "They are just spending an extraordinarily long time underwater compared to their recovery time". Their heart rates slow; blood is shunted into the body's core, and the spleen contracts, releasing some of its store of oxygenated red blood cells.

"They're explorers, so I think they're inherently curious and want to know more about the world, including about their own biology", she says.

Related News:

Most liked

MI mother leaves Two Women in suitcase
According to authorities, when they arrived, they saw the woman drop luggage next to the trash before fleeing from the scene. Police say a 26-year-old MI mother left her two infant daughters inside a suitcase next to garbage on the side of the road.

James Comey's memos about Trump meetings revealed
Much of what is in the memos, most notably Mr Trump's demand that Mr Comey pledge his loyalty, has been known for almost a year. The documents reflect Trump's uneasiness about that investigation, though not always in ways that Comey seemed to anticipate.

It's always wonderful to walk with Deepika Padukone :Ranbir Kapoor
The duo looked stunning as the showstopper, wearing beautifully embroidered dresses from the acclaimed designer's collection. When Deepika was asked of her experience of walking the ramp with Ranbir, she said: "It's very exciting.

Court Upholds Ruling Barring US From Punishing Sanctuary Cities
The term sanctuary city loosely refers to jurisdictions that in some way do not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. Manion, agreed with the decision as it related to Chicago but said the ruling should not apply nationwide.

EPS for Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX) Expected At $0.20 on April, 23
The basic materials company reported $0.22 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.02. Omers Administration Corp decreased Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) stake by 10,600 shares to 38,079 valued at $6.01 million in 2017Q4.

Gopher tortoise found spray painted red
With the concrete chipped off, for the most part, she said it's also walking much better and is eager to get moving again. She stated if her staff at Swamp Girls Adventures and she saw him they realized they needed to do something.

How Trump plans to arm the world with USA weapons
White House trade advisor Peter Navarro noted in a conference call that "Chinese replicas" of American drone technology are being "deployed on the runways in the Middle East".

David Copperfield's Disappearing Act Exposed In Negligence Lawsuit
David Copperfield is one of the highest earning entertainers in the world, with his net worth listed by Forbes as $800m in 2018. The tick starts out with Copperfield choosing 13 members from the audience and have them sit on a platform up on the stage.

Forecast: Sunny today and Friday; chance of rain remains for the weekend
The upper-level low associated with the system will move across the region Wednesday with a chance for scattered showers. Rain and snow showers taper off Friday afternoon and evening as high pressure builds east from the Great Lakes.

DOJ hands over Comey's Trump memos to Congress
On Sunday, President Trump had tweeted that he believed Comey should be in jail for various misdeeds. FBI Director James Comey testifies during a House Judiciary Committee in March 2016.

Brokerages Expect General Mills, Inc. (GIS) to Announce $0.77 EPS
Current trade price levels places GIS's stock about -26.30% away from the 52-week high and closed 2.03% away from the 52-week low. It turned negative, as 82 investors sold CAH shares while 236 reduced holdings. 53 funds opened positions while 97 raised stakes.

Trump lawyer Cohen drops lawsuit against BuzzFeed over Steele dossier
He provided a peek at his passport to BuzzFeed in 2017 to show that it contained no stamps showing travel to the Czech Republic. She and her lawyer claim that the payment was hush money to keep quiet about a one-night stand that she had with Trump in 2006.

Syria air strikes: Russian Federation denies tampering with suspected chemical attack site
Secretary General António Guterres issued a statement on the situation in Syria expressing full support for the OPCW inspection. Corbyn said May should remember she "is accountable to this Parliament, not to the whims of the USA president".

Bristol (BMY) Stake Held by Clifford Swan Investment Counsel Llc
The stock of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY ) has "Equal Weight" rating given on Tuesday, December 1 by Barclays Capital. Santori & Peters Inc. bought a new position in shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb in the fourth quarter valued at $144,000.

Magnitude 3.6 earthquake centered in Canada shakes parts of metro Detroit
The quake was recorded late Thursday near Amherstburg, Ontario , a town of about 21,900 people. In Taylor, Jeff Ward, 58, was on his couch watching TV when the ground started shaking.