Wednesday, 5 September 2012

This naked mole rat can make you live longer


THIS ugly-looking critter could hold the secret to humans one day living for 200 years, scientists believe.

Naked mole rats share 93 per cent of our genes — but live up to ten times longer than other rats.
While our bodies deteriorate as we get older, the East African rodents have a remarkable resistance to ageing.
Naked mole rats can live for 30 years — reproducing to the end, looking young and showing little decline in brain power or bone structure.
It is thought the key to their long and healthy lives is hidden in their genes — and the secret is waiting to be unlocked.

Professor Jonathan Flint, a specialist in human genetics at Oxford University’s Wellcome Trust Centre, said: “Ageing is not a fixed thing. There is no hard limit on how long we can live. The fact that people die at 80 or 90 is not fixed.
“We could theoretically go on for 200 years if we understood the biology pathways and could alter them in some way.”
The hardy mole rats have adapted well to their fierce desert habitat. They can eat poisonous plants, resist cancer and cope with extreme heat. Professor Rochelle Buffenstein, at the University of Texas, said: “It doesn’t matter what you throw at them, they seem to cope.”
But life is not all fun for naked mole rats — the only cold-blooded mammal. They dwell mainly underground and have terrible eyesight.
And would you want to live for 200 years looking like that?

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