Naked mole rat

Naked mole rat DNA sequenced

Naked mole rats, which resemble pink, saber-toothed “sausages,” are known for their longevity, living as long as three decades in captivity.

Scientists have sequenced the complete genome of the naked mole rat, a pivotal step to understanding the animal’s extraordinarily long life and good health. A colony of more than 2,000 naked mole rats at the UT Health Science Center contributed to the findings, published Oct. 12 in the journal Nature.

Arlan Richardson, Ph.D., director of the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies, said: “The data in this Nature paper are very important for aging research because they give us the first glimpse into how the naked mole rat lives 10 times longer than its distant cousins, the mouse and rat.”

Rochelle Buffenstein, Ph.D., professor of physiology at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, worked on the study with Thomas Park, Ph.D., of the University of Chicago; Vadim Gladyshev, Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School; the Beijing Genomics Institute; and other collaborators.

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