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WHU Research Praised by Science
Author:Sijia Hu  Date:2013-12-31  Clicks:
On December 19th, one of the most prestigious magazines in academia, Science, along with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) selected 11 “most prominent genomic research” projects in 2013 including a Wuhan University project, Scorpionidae genomic sequencing.

Scorpions are considered ‘living fossils’. The Scorpionidae’s genome contains more than 32,000 protein coding genes while humans only have about 22,000. The research has helped answer questions such as how do scorpions hunt at night and how do they detoxify poisonous substances.

The research is led by Wuhan University in partnership with the Shanghai Center for Bioinformation Technology. It, for the first time, reveals the adaptation patterns for arthropods—the group of animals in which scorpions fall. The research findings were published in the in Nature this October.

A research team led by WHU School of Life Science Professor Li Wenxin has been doing systematic research on scorpions and their toxin for 20 years.  He has helped discover various facets of scorpions and their toxin genetic makeup. In recent years, to find out the genetic basis for scorpion’s long-lived existence, the team completed the genomic sequencing for the largest scorpion species—Scorpionidae and predicted 32,016 protein coding genes. The research has helped reveal scorpion’s adaptive mechanisms in their evolution.

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