Researchers studying mole rat to know its secret to longevity

Researchers studying mole rat to know its secret to longevity

Subterranean rodent naked mole rate looks quite ugly but it can provide the secret to longevity, scientists believe.

Mole is an almost blind subterranean rodent featuring wrinkly skin and sparse hair. But, this rodent can live for as many as 30 years, nearly 10 times longer than its rodent cousins. In addition, it enjoys an outstanding resistance to tumors.

In order to discover the secrets of mole's longevity and resistance to tumors, University of Rochester's Vera Gorbunovaand Andrei Seluanov have started studying the rodents in their New York laboratory.

Speaking about the initiative, Gorbunova said, "Every time we look at the naked mole rat, there's something unexpected and something that could be potentially useful to humans."

The husband-&-wife research team, earlier this year, discovered a huge sugar-like molecule in the rodents that contributes to these rodents' resistance to tumors.

They also found an unusual chemical behavior of the RNA inside the mole rat's ribosomes that provide the ability to conduct genetic orders, called "translational fidelity," appears to be linked to these rodents' longevity.

The findings appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences' this week's edition.

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