question: are all proteins destroyed at more or less the same temperature or does their "destruction" temperature vary (the latter would make sense to me)?
Makes sense that it would vary but as I stated before MOST
proteins denature at temperature exceeding 50C, which is higher than the maximum that a gemsboks body will reach.
question: can there really be a situation where a brain will "order" proteins to be destroyed and if so, what kind of sense would that make?
Tricky question. There are thousands of proteins and processes occurring in the body, so it is inevitable that somewhere along the line a bodies own protein is intentionally destroyed.
There is a process called apoptosis, or programmed cell death, where some cells are programmed to die after a while. A tumor may occur when apoptosis fails and cells continue to multiply without some dieing. The net being out of control growth = tumor
Hard to explain. Anyway, the brain, through hormone,steroid activation etc. is involved in apoptosis. So I guess the brain does order the death of its own cells/protein, but in a controlled manner.
question: how does all this relate to the oryx?
Well, as I said before although the body temperature of an oryx is much higher than "normal", it is still not high enough to cause massive protein denaturation.
Keep in mind the other morphological and behavioral adaptations gemsbok have to survive in their extreme environment. For example the carotid rete (brain cooling system). They also allow their body temp to rise substantially so as to delay evaporative cooling (and save water) and are inactive for mot of the day.
A poster child for evolution! Numerous adaptations to suit the harsh environment it lives in.
Hope this helps..
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