Researchers found that humans and sea urchins share a lot of the same biology
A purple sea urchin has 70 percent of its genes in common with humans, including genes associated with such diseases as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and muscular dystrophy.
There are roughly 100 human disease genes in the sea urchin genome.
Researchers said they believe similarities in the genes of sea urchins could one day help them better understand how the human immune system works.
Sea urchins have no eyes or brain and could live for up to 100 years. Because sea urchins live longer than most humans, they might also provide clues in developing new antibiotic and antiviral compounds to fight various infectious diseases.
It has been shown that they have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antihyperlipidemic, antitumor and antibacterial effects. ■