Burmese Python Facts
October 29, 2011 by staff
Burmese Python Facts, After pythons eat a meal, your organs – including your heart – almost twice the size in one day. Now, researchers have learned that snakes are able to achieve such growth without heart damage, a finding that could lead to new therapies for diseases of the human heart.
After a meal, blood python is so full of triglycerides, a form of cholesterol, which appears milky, said researcher Leslie Leinwand, a biologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In humans, these fatty compounds are deposited in the heart muscle, but the snakes escape without damage.
“The heart python is able to burn those fats as fuel very efficiently, without any harm to him,” said Leinwand LiveScience.
Heart Healthy Growth
Years ago, Leinwand read an article about Burmese pythons and amazing ability to quickly for months, gorging on food and undergo massive organic growth, without apparent ill effects. A lot of researchers have studied the strengths of others to see if there may be some benefit to humans, for example, a diabetes medicine published in 2005, called Byetta, developed from the saliva of the Gila monster .
Leinwand wanted to know if python physiology may be the key to human drug treatments. In humans, the growth of the heart may be a sign of health or disease: the heart of the athletes grow with exercise, but the heart chambers that pump blood large room, too. That makes the heart more efficient in general. In people with heart disease or high blood pressure, heart muscle becomes inflamed often as it works harder to pump blood. But this kind of enlargement of the heart takes up space in the heart chamber, ie, each beat of the heart pumps less blood.
Find ways to promote healthy growth in the human heart could be a boon for patients with heart disease, Leinwand said.
“It is well known for decades of work that exercise is good for the heart,” he said. “But often, people who have heart disease can not exercise enough to get that benefit.”
The goal, said Leinwand, is to create a drug treatment that could push a diseased heart to a healthy growth.
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