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Recently, increasingly more microsatellites, or simple sequence repeats (SSRs) have been found and characterized within protein-coding genes and their untranslated regions (UTRs). These data provide useful information to study possible SSR functions. Here, we review SSR distributions within expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and genes including protein-coding,(More)
Retinal projections and visual thalamo-cortical connections were studied in the subterranean mole rat, belonging to the superspecies Spalax ehrenbergi, by anterograde and retrograde tracing techniques. Quantitative image analysis was used to estimate the relative density and distribution of retinal input to different primary visual nuclei. The visual system(More)
The mole rat, Spalax ehrenberghi, is an extreme example of natural visual degeneration in mammals: visual pathways are regressed and incomplete, and the absence of visual cortical potentials or an overt behavioural response to light have led to the conclusion that Spalax is completely blind. But structural and molecular investigations of the atrophied,(More)
The naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber) displays exceptional longevity, with a maximum lifespan exceeding 30 years. This is the longest reported lifespan for a rodent species and is especially striking considering the small body mass of the naked mole rat. In comparison, a similarly sized house mouse has a maximum lifespan of 4 years. In addition to(More)
BACKGROUND All plants in nature harbor a diverse community of rhizosphere bacteria which can affect the plant growth. Our samples are isolated from the rhizosphere of wild barley Hordeum spontaneum at the Evolution Canyon ('EC'), Israel. The bacteria which have been living in close relationship with the plant root under the stressful conditions over(More)
The primary goal of this research was to reveal de novo mutations in the liquidators (cleanup personnel) who emigrated to Israel from the Chernobyl disaster area. We used genome fingerprinting simple sequence repeat-anchored polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and random amplified polymorphic DNA PCR (RAPD PCR). The methodology involved a(More)
Despite severe degeneration of its eyes, the blind subterranean mole rat, Spalax, is able to adjust circadian rhythms to the environmental light/dark cycle due to a conserved retinohypothalamic tract (RHT). The photopigment mediating the circadian photoreception and it cellular localisation is unknown in the Spalax retina. Here we show, using in situ(More)
Fluctuating asymmetry consists of random deviations from perfect symmetry in populations of organisms. It is a measure of developmental noise, which reflects a population's average state of adaptation and coadaptation. Moreover, it increases under both environmental and genetic stress, though responses are often inconsistent. Researchers base studies of(More)
The cortex of the blind mole rat (Spalax ehrenbergi) was explored for somatosensory responses with special reference to an extension into the occipital cortex which serves vision in sighted mammals. Head and body representation was similar as in other rodents or mammals. However, the somatosensory area extended far into the occipital cortex. No responses to(More)
The adaptive value of sound signal characteristics for transmission in the underground tunnel ecotope was tested using tunnels of the solitary territorial subterranean mole rats. We analyzed the propagation of synthetic calls with various frequencies through natural tunnels along different distances. Here we present evidence that sound propagation proved(More)