Scientists believe that the DNA of “Superhero” fruit bats May Contain the Solution to Diabetes


Scientists believe that diabetes may be cured by “SUPERHERO” fruit bats.

Fruit bats survive and even flourish on a diet of up to twice their body weight in sweet fruit every day, yet humans who consume a high-sugar diet may develop diabetes, obesity, and even cancer.

Researchers looked at fruit bats’ pancreas and liver to learn how they manage their high-sugar diet.

Every day, they consume large amounts of sugar for four hours, followed by twenty more hours of sleep.

A group from the University of California, San Francisco set out to find out how these animals came to be able to eat so much sugar and whether there was any way that diabetic people could use this ability.

“For me, bats are like superheroes, each with an amazing superpower, whether it is echolocation, flying, blood sucking without coagulation, or eating fruit and not getting diabetes,” said Dr. Nadav Ahituv, head of the UCSF Institute for Human Genetics and co-author of the article.Diabetes causes issues managing blood sugar because the body is unable to make or recognize insulin.

“But fruit bats have a genetic system that controls blood sugar without fail.”We’d like to learn from that system to build better insulin- or sugar-sensing medicines for people. “This kind of work is just the beginning.”

Dr. Ahituv’s team concentrated on the evolution of these bats’ kidneys and pancreases, which regulate blood sugar, to determine precisely how these animals overindulge in sugar without suffering the repercussions.

They discovered that the bats’ kidneys had evolved to retain electrolytes, and that their pancreases had additional insulin-producing cells and genetic alterations to aid in the processing of this enormous quantity of sugar.

Assistant Professor Wei Gordon added: “Even small changes, to single letters of DNA, make this diet viable for fruit bats. “To aid the one in three Americans who are prediabetic, we need to comprehend high-sugar metabolism in this way.”

The team worked with scientists from a range of institutions, including Yonsei University in Korea and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, to obtain their results, which were published in Nature Communications.

They compared the Jamaican fruit bat to the great brown bat, which exclusively consumes insects, to see if there were any adaptations.

They found that the DNA of fruit bats has evolved to switch on and off the genes necessary for the metabolism of fruit.

“There was a glaring difference in the way the two bat species’ DNA around the insulin and glucagon genes was organized,” Dr. Gordon stated.

“The DNA around genes was once thought to be “junk,” but our research indicates that this regulatory DNA probably aids in fruit bat response to abrupt changes in blood sugar levels.