The secret to a long life could lie with the naked mole-rat. This unsightly rodent is about the size of a mouse but lives about 10 times as long. And Vera Gorbunova, a biologist at the University of Rochester, wants to know why.
“This is a very interesting mammal and very useful to the study of longevity because we have mice and rats that are very well researched, and they are extremely short lived. But then we have some very long-lived rodents that share many genes with them but their life spans are up to ten times longer,” Gorbunova told Singularity Hub.
In her lab’s most recent study on this unlikely animal, published September 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Gorbunova and her colleagues show that naked mole-rats make just one-tenth the protein-synthesis errors that a mouse does. (Other studies put humans more or less on a par with mice.)