White bat hoards carotenoids in its yellow nose and ears | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 94 Issue 37 | p. 8 | Concentrates
Issue Date: September 19, 2016

White bat hoards carotenoids in its yellow nose and ears

Studying the curious creature might reveal ways to use these yellow pigments to prevent macular degeneration, a form of blindness.
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Analytical SCENE, Biological SCENE
Keywords: biological chemistry, chemical communication, bat, carotenoid, macular degeneration

A tropical white bat with yellow ears and a leaflike, sprawling yellow nose doesn’t just look bizarre. It also has a peculiar—and enviable—ability to hoard the pigment that colors its yellow appendages. This pigment, lutein, is a member of the carotenoid family. It’s also a chemical useful for protecting cells from oxygen damage, particularly in the eye. But mammals—with the exception of this bat—are poor accumulators of carotenoids, including lutein. Instead these pigments are distributed . . .

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