A retired scientist made an interesting discovery even after officially letting go of the profession. He found a unique type of garden snail by accident. The mollusk has a quite remarkable design on its shell, as the lines on it are displayed backward. This makes specialists believe that it can be related to a rare heart condition in humans.
The unusual garden snail was named Jeremy. The spirals on its shell do not curl following the clock movement, but the opposite, curving to the left. Such a genetic phenomenon is quite rare. Specialists estimate that it can happen once in a million cases.
Wildlife experts are particularly interested in this garden snail. They intend to find a mate for him that should display the same features about the shell. Their snail babies could provide researchers with the answer for the genetic condition.
Jeremy, the snail, needs a partner with a left-swirling shell because its genital organs are on the opposite side of other normal snails. Researchers do not lose hope to find a match for the great garden snail, even though the process might last a long time. However, they have already started to “advertise” for the case and raise awareness among people in London who might just find an equally special snail and bring it to them.
Specialists believe that these type of mollusk could help them analyze and study in-depth their particular disease. They also suspect that it may be related to a similar disease in humans. In some rare cases, people are born with their heart on the right side of their chest, instead of the normal left side.
Doctors who investigated this problem believe that the genes that trigger the unusual appearance of snails might also cause the rare heart disease with human patients. The rare condition in humans is called dextrocardia.
Experts talk about a mirror image display about both the snail and the human diseases. The snail offspring could enable researchers to track the genes which trigger this mutation. Proper analyses can even lead them closer to the cure or a way of treating the condition.
There are specialists who have been working with snails for twenty years and have never encountered just an individual. They are extremely rare, and the plan of analyzing the babies’ genes might have to be postponed for some time now.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia