Nectar bats may have nature’s biggest sweet tooth. Each night, the creatures scour the jungle for blossoming flowers in order to consume as much as 150% of their body weight in liquid sugar.
Such a feat would leave other mammals in shock or in a coma. But nectar bats push biology to the limit — making them “wonderful, majestic flying superheroes,” in the words of Jasmin Camacho, a postdoctoral researcher at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research who was recently named a STAT Wunderkind. By learning how bats protect themselves from the toxic effects of high sugar consumption, Camacho is striving to find new treatments for metabolic disorders like diabetes and obesity.
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