Naked mole rat discovery: ‘superhuman’ creatures could hold key to eternal human life | Science | News


A biogerontologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Caleb Finch, was keen to praise the findings.

She said: “This is remarkably low mortality.

“At advanced ages, their mortality rate remains lower than any other mammal that has been documented.”

Rochelle Buffenstein, a comparative biologist for a biotechnology company named Calico, has been studying naked mole rats for over 30 years and has collected a stream of data that shows the animal’s risk of death does not increase with age as it does with every other living creature on earth.

She explained: “To me, this is the most exciting data I’ve ever gotten.

“It goes against everything we know in terms of mammalian biology.”

British mathematician Benjamin Gompertz discovered that the chance of death in animals increases with age – he declared that in humans the risk doubles approximately every eight years after the age of 30.

However, the research paper from Ms Buffenstein appears to have disproved this.

The document reads: “The longest-lived rodent, the naked mole-rat, has a reported maximum lifespan of fewer than 30 years and exhibits delayed and/or attenuated age-associated physiological declines.

“We questioned whether these mouse-sized, eusocial rodents conform to Gompertzian mortality laws by experiencing an exponentially increased risk of death as they get older.

“Kaplan-Meier analyses revealed a substantial portion of the population to have survived at 30 years of age.

“Moreover, unlike all other mammals studied to date, and regardless of sex or breeding-status, the age-specific hazard of mortality did not increase with age, even at ages 25-fold past their time to reproductive maturity.

“This absence of hazard increase with age, in defiance of Gompertz’s law, uniquely identifies the naked mole-rat as a non-ageing mammal, confirming its status as an exceptional model for biogerontology.”

The meticulous research from Ms Buffenstein showed that a naked mole rat’s chance of death was roughly one in 10,000, this was a statistic that rarely changed throughout their life span.

However, Caleb Finch cautioned that more samples are needed and from older naked mole rats to prove that the data was correct.

However, Ms Buffenstein was keen to back up her findings by stating that more than enough had been sampled to produce accurate data sets.

She continued: “If you look at any rodent ageing study, 100 animals is all you need to see Gompertz ageing.

“Here we have 3000 data points and we’re not seeing it.”

Matthias Platzer, a biologist at the Leibniz Institute on Ageing in Germany, stated that “it’s too early” to say that naked mole rats are “non-ageing”.

He argued: “I think it’s too early to say naked mole rats are non-ageing animals.

“Maybe ageing happens really fast then? Even Rochelle Buffenstein does not have the data on this.”



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