Python genes get frantic after meals

Dormant genes switched on in pythons after meals

source: New Scientist vol 211 no 2819, July 2 2011 p17

Burmese pythons do not often eat big meals, and they shrink most internal organs between meals. After meals the mass of their kidneys and hearts increases by a half, and that of their intestines is more than doubled. Todd Castoe and team, from Colorado University, Denver, took measurements of gene activity in these pythons, and found that some 1,800 dormant genes in python organs were turned on in the 24 hours following a meal. This genetic change is much greater than expected.