May 21, 2021

Genetic tricks of the longest-lived animals

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension

The secret to longevity is already in the animals around us.

Some species live unexpectedly long lives. By studying how they do it, researchers hope to pinpoint factors affecting human longevity.

By Bob Holmes.

Life, for most of us, ends far too soon — hence the effort by biomedical researchers to find ways to delay the aging process and extend our stay on Earth. But there’s a paradox at the heart of the science of aging: The vast majority of research focuses on fruit flies, nematode worms and laboratory mice, because they’re easy to work with and lots of genetic tools are available. And yet, a major reason that geneticists chose these species in the first place is because they have short lifespans. In effect, we’ve been learning about longevity from organisms that are the least successful at the game.

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