Genetic adaption key to polar bears staying warm

Scientists have found that a genetic adaption that helps convert food into heat may be key to how polar bears survive extreme  arctic winters without hibernating. In the winter, brown and black bears go into hibernation to conserve energy and keep warm, but for their Arctic relative, the Polar bear only pregnant females den up for the colderd months.

A new study points to genetic adaptions related to the production of nitric oxide, a compounded that cells use to help convert nutrients from food into energy or heat. The genetic adaptions the research team saw are important because of the crucial role that nitric oxide plays in energy metabolism.

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