February 2009 Barshop Institute News
Hairless and buck-toothed, naked mole rats are pretty ugly by human standards.
But they have one beautiful trait that humans crave -- a seeming fountain of youth that lets them live 10 times longer than similar animals, free of common age-related conditions that can weaken or slow them down.
San Antonio researchers who are fascinated with the mole rats say they have unmasked molecular machinery that appears to contribute to the animals' longevity. The mole rats' cells are very efficient at protecting stable, functioning proteins and getting rid of the proteins that are damaged.
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