HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Misclassified for centuries, medicinal leeches found to be 3 distinct species

Genetic research has revealed that commercially available medicinal leeches used around the world in biomedical research and postoperative care have been misclassified for centuries. Until now, the leeches were assumed to be the species Hirudo medicinalis, but new research reveals they are actually a closely related but genetically distinct species, Hirudo verbana.

The study also shows that wild European medicinal leeches are at least three distinct species, not one. The results appear in the April 10, 2007, online version of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

"This raises the tantalizing prospect of three times the number of anticoagulants, and three times as many biomedically important developments in areas like protease inhibitors," said Mark Siddall of the American Museum of Natural History, who led the research team. "However, it will also require a better effort to conserve these much-maligned animals, in a way that takes into account their impressive diversity."

While Hirudo medicinalis was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2004, for use as a prescription medical device that helps restore blood flow following cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, Hirudo verbana has not been approved by the FDA and has no special conservation status.

"This study is a great example of why the field of taxonomy [the science of classification of organisms] is so important," said Patrick Herendeen, program director in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Environmental Biology, which funded the research. "Taxonomists have been studying the diversity of life on Earth for hundreds of years. In this case, the discovery of previously unknown species diversity has very significant legal and commercial implications."

Since the time of Hippocrates and long before Carolus Linnaeus first described Hirudo medicinalis in 1758, medicinal leeches have been used in a variety of medical treatme
'"/>

Contact: Cheryl Dybas
cdybas@nsf.gov
703-292-7734
National Science Foundation
11-Apr-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Chinese medicinal compound stops formation of cysts in polycystic kidney disease in lab
2. Chemist wins national award for contributions in medicinal chemistry
3. Waters off Washington state only second place in world where glass sponge reefs found
4. First new multiple sclerosis gene found in 30 years
5. Obesity found to be a risk factor for multiple myeloma
6. Antibody-altering protein found in developing B cells
7. New use for a cell toxin found to inhibit survival proteins in cancer cells
8. New way to target and kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria found
9. Soil particles found to boost prions capacity to infect
10. Support for chromosomal theory of cancer found in cancers development of drug resistance
11. Massive herds of animals found to still exist in Southern Sudan

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/26/2020)... ... August 25, 2020 , ... ... mitochondria, in partnership with Essex Bio-Technology, a bio-pharmaceutical company specializing in Ophthalmology ... VISTA-2 study of SkQ1 ophthalmic solution in patients with moderate to severe ...
(Date:8/21/2020)... LEXINGTON, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... August 18, 2020 ... ... novel approaches to cell therapy, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug ... evaluation of Sentien’s lead asset, SBI-101, for the treatment of severe COVID-19. Approval ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 11, 2020 , ... Both Roche, ... have entered into license agreements with Housey Pharma’s HMI subsidiary to gain access ... J&J have annual Research and Development spending in excess of US $10 billion. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 16, 2020 , ... Medial EarlySign , a ... prevention of high-burden diseases, and Centric Consulting, a business and technology consulting firm, ... existing data in order to identify and prioritize patients for care. , Combining ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 09, 2020 , ... ... announced today that Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has expanded the company’s ... allows PathSensors to move into the point-of-care diagnostic market, focusing initially on ...
(Date:7/7/2020)... ... July 06, 2020 , ... R3 International is now ... up to 200 million stem cells. Depending on the patient's condition, treatment may be ... US will die having some form of Alzheimers dementia, and the incidence continues to ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... June 29, 2020 , ... The Interlocal Purchasing System ... its membership, recently named BioFit Engineered Products an Awarded Vendor. Awarded ... ergonomic seating, cafeteria tables, book trucks and carts at discounted pricing without the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: