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Barshop Institute, global team sequences DNA of naked mole rat
Date:10/12/2011

gevity," she said. "This study reveals many of the genetic secrets to their extraordinary longevity, cancer resistance and pain tolerance, and their ability to survive in a low-oxygen environment. Indeed, having this animal's genetic blueprint is a treasure trove for many areas of biology and medicine because the genome will now be available to scientists everywhere to explore in their favored research area."

Barshop Institute Director Arlan Richardson, Ph.D., said: "The data in this Nature paper are very important for aging research because they give us the first glimpse into how the naked mole rat lives 10 times longer than its distant cousins, the mouse and rat."

Unusual appearance

Naked mole rats resemble pink, saber-toothed "sausages." Previous studies have yielded important insights into how the naked mole rat is able to rewire its brain (a process called neural plasticity), tolerate low oxygen and low body temperatures, and show cancer-free good health well into old age.

"Understanding their genomic footprint may reveal how they are able to maintain the integrity of their proteins and DNA far better than other animals do in old age, as well as how they mitigate the translation of oxidative damage into age-related declines and disease," Dr. Buffenstein said.


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Contact: Will Sansom
sansom@uthscsa.edu
210-567-2579
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Source:Eurekalert  

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