Cockroaches, even if everyone hates them with a passion, are very special in their own, twisted way. If you cut the legs off a nymph, they grow back in no time. If there are any crumbs around you might discover that you do have cockroaches in your house. Also, they do not seem to be getting sick because their homemade antibiotics keep them healthy and safe. Apart from this, like it wasn’t enough, they can survive insecticides, survive in the most brutal conditions and still come back to hunt your dreams.
Cockroaches seems to have superpowers. But where do they come from? According to a new study, which the journal Nature Communications recently published, the answer might be in their genes. A team of researchers managed to sequence the genome of a cockroach and found an arsenal of genes that are making these critters super adaptable. It seems that cockroaches have a huge genome, second only to locusts. It’s interesting that the American cockroach is actually closely related to termites more than to the German cockroach.
Cockroaches and their superpowers
So, what’s the secret in their genes that makes them invulnerable? Well, it seems that 60% of its genome contains repetitive elements. Also, 95% of their protein-encoding genes actually produce protein. Those give the cockroaches the ability to survive those urban environments. They also have a huge number of receptor of all kinds, making them appear exactly at the right moment, when you’re enjoying your sandwich.
Also, some enzymes help them survive pesticides and extreme conditions. Moreover, while in nymph stage, cockroaches can also regenerate, like it wasn’t enough. Considering that its Chinese nickname is xiao qiang, meaning “mighty little one”, we understand where the inspiration came from. Even if you despise cockroaches you must admit, they are truly special.
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