Secret to Longevity: Naked Mole Rats?

Oct. 1, 2013

naked mole ratThose fascinating creatures are in the news again. In a study published in June researchers found a key to their cancer resistance. This week, University of Rochester biologists showed that the rodent’s longevity – they live a healthy 30 years, which is very long in rat years – is due to better-constructed proteins.

The husband-and-wife team of Vera Gorbunova, Ph.D., and Andrei Seluanov, Ph.D., describe their discovery in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It appears that the ribosomes – the site of protein creation in the animals’ cells – is unique and leads to a process of making virtually perfect proteins. And proteins with no aberrations help the body functions more efficiently.

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