Friday, November 2, 2007

naked mole rat might hold key to longevity



Who would have thought that the secrets to long life might exist in the naked, wrinkled body of one of the world's ugliest animals? Probably not many, but current research may be leading seekers of the Fountain of Youth to a strange little beast - the naked mole rat.

A key component in the aging of any species is oxidative damage, where the cells accrue damage from poisons, environmental toxins and other effects throughout life. Naked mole rats appear to deal with oxidative stress in pulses, largely due to their ability to essentially shut down their metabolism when there are hardships, such as lack of food.

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