Photo of Chelsea Nauta
in the Florida Keys courtesy of >Andy Newman. Information courtesy of Frankie Schembri/a>, Science Magazine

Frankie Schembri reported in Science Magazine that gene CMP-Neu5Ac Hydroxylase was discovered in humans 20 years ago.

More recently, researchers found that mice with the CMP-Neu5Ac Hydroxylase gene can run 12% faster and 20% longer than other mice on little mice running treadmills. The mice with the CMP-Neu5Ac Hydroxylase gene have more capillaries in their legs and their leg muscles kept contracting much longer compared with other mice after the treadmill test was over.

If this gene provides insight as to why humans can run marathons, perhaps this same gene – or another – can provide a similar clue as to why some humans can swim marathons so well or can become acclimatized to cold water? With additional and more elastic capillaries in a swimmer’s working muscles could this enable faster swimmers capable to swimming longer or in colder conditions?

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