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Naked mole rats & extended lifespan

A possible anti-ageing treatment has been identified, by US researchers, who successfully improved life expectancy in mice using genes from naked mole rats.

Research led by the University of Rochester, New York, focused on a ‘longevity gene’ in naked mole rats – the rodents, native to Africa, are well known for their remarkable resistance to ageing, as well as cancer and dementia.

The team had previously identified that high molecular weight hyaluronic acid (HMW-HA) was involved in the naked mole rat’s resistance to cancer.

Now, by genetically modifying mice to make a version of the gene that produces HMW-HA in naked mole rats, the study showed that the mice’s lifespan could be extended by around four per cent.

The report in Nature also showed that mice were better protected from tumours and skin cancer.

Prof Andrei Seluanov, at Rochester, said: “We hope that our findings will provide the first, but not the last, example of how longevity adaptations from a long-lived species can be adapted to benefit human longevity and health.”


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