Unlocking the genetic tricks of the longest-lived animals

The longest-lived species have genetic tricks.
Animals around us already have the secret to long-term longevity.

Some species have surprisingly long lifespans. Researchers hope to identify factors that affect human longevity by studying how these species do it.

By Bob Holmes

For most people, life ends too soon. This is why biomedical scientists are trying to delay aging and prolong our time on Earth. There’s an interesting paradox in the science of aging. The majority of research is focused on fruit flies and mice because they are easy to use and have a lot of genetic tools available. Yet, geneticists selected these species because of their short lifespans. We’ve learned about longevity by studying organisms who aren’t very successful.


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