Smithsonian's National Zoo / Flickr CC

Naked mole-rats can survive up to 18 minutes deprived of oxygen — without damaging tissues or vital organs, a new study shows. Mice in a zero-oxygen environment died in 20 seconds; naked mole-rats in that same environment lost consciousness, but then resumed breathing when they were exposed to air. They rejoined their colony without any signs of brain damage or behavioral problems.

Sound smart: The process the oxygen-deprived naked mole-rats switch to in order to avoid brain and tissue damage is fructose-driven glycolysis.

How they do it: Naked mole-rats have learned to live underground, where they've adapted to lower oxygen levels (and higher carbon dioxide levels) than the rest of us who live above ground. As a result, mole-rats switch to another energy pathway when there's no oxygen. They shut down one pathway — converting energy for our body through the breathing process — and switch to another that metabolizes glucose (the only energy source the brain and red blood cells can use) and avoids the build-up of fructose in tissues, which causes damage.

Why it matters to us: Humans suffer severe or permanent damage to tissue after only a few minutes when the brain is deprived of oxygen. While free divers have learned how to hyperventilate with pure oxygen and then hold their breath for much longer periods of time (the world record is 22 minutes), ordinary humans don't have that luxury. This new research will help scientists with new strategies for preventing tissue damage in heart disease and stroke patients.

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Pennsylvania GOP asks Supreme Court to halt mail-in ballot extension

Applications for mail-in ballots in Reading, Pennsylvania. Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Republicans in Pennsylvania on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt a major state court ruling that extended the deadlines for mail-in ballots to several days after the election, The Morning Call reports.

Why it matters: It's the first election-related test for the Supreme Court since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and could decide the fate of thousands of ballots in a crucial swing state that President Trump won in 2016. What the court decides could signal how it would deal with similar election-related litigation in other states.

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 33,217,895 — Total deaths: 999,273 — Total recoveries: 22,975,269Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 7,128,774 — Total deaths: 204,881 — Total recoveries: 2,766,280 — Total tests: 101,298,794Map.
  3. States: Cuomo extends New York moratorium on evictions until 2021
  4. Business: Companies are still holding back earnings guidance.
  5. Health: The childless vaccine — Why kids get less severe coronavirus infections.
  6. World: India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases

Democrats on Trump tax story: "This is a national security question"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that the New York Times report that President Trump has hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due within the next four years is a "national security question," and that the public has a "right to know" the details of his financial obligations.

The big picture: Democrats have already leapt on the Times' bombshell, which Trump has dismissed as "total fake news," to attack the president for allegedly paying less in federal income taxes than the average middle-class household.

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