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Genetic basis for extended lifespan and cancer resistance discovered in long-lived bats

Source: ucd.ie

Scientists have identified genes that may give long-lived bat species their extraordinary lifespans and cancer resistance compared to other animals.

The findings published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution show that bats limit the level of DNA damage they experience with age, increasing their levels of DNA repair and damage removal, which is partially mediated by novel regulatory genes.

According to the international team of scientists, the longest-lived species of bats (Myotis) show a unique, age-related gene expression pattern associated with DNA repair, autophagy (damage removal), immunity and tumour suppression.

This is not observed in humans or other mammals and may drive their extended healthspans. MORE

Header image: University College Dublin.

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