Monday, 2 April 2012

Why Some Animals Live Longer Than Others

ScienceDaily (Mar. 29, 2012) — Scientists at the University of Liverpool have developed a new method to detect proteins associated with longevity, which helps further our understanding into why some animals live longer than others.



The team looked at the genome of more than 30 mammalian species to identify proteins that evolve in connection with the longevity of a species. They found that a protein, important in responding to DNA damage, evolves and mutates in a non-random way in species that are longer-lived, suggesting that it is changing for a specific purpose. They found a similar pattern in proteins associated with metabolism, cholesterol and pathways involved in the recycling of proteins.
Findings show that if certain proteins are being selected by evolution to change in long-lived mammals like humans and elephants, then it is possible that these species have optimized pathways that repair molecular damage, compared to shorter-lived animals, such as mice.

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