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Longest-lived bats unveiled secrets to longer and healthier lives


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Bats not only live longer, they also stay healthy longer and can harbor pathogens like Ebola or coronaviruses without getting sick.

They are some of the smallest of all mammals, yet they can live for an extraordinarily long time.

Researchers studied the exceptional longevity of long-lived Greater Mouse-eared bats.

They seem to have evolved mechanisms to slow down the aging process.

Researchers tracked a few biomarkers of aging, including telomeres.

Telomeres in the longest-lived bats do not shorten with age. They can protect their DNA.

When sequenced genes from young, middle-aged and older bats, scientists found that they repair damage to their DNA and also able to modulate their immune response.

If the controlling gene that regulates these effects is identified, a drug could be made to mimic it in humans.

People are really interested in looking at bats to find answers, there's been a huge speed up.

Study led by Emma Teeling from University College Dublin, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Novel genes increase DNA repair and limit damage to slow down ageing process

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Associate Professor at University College Dublin.


Journal providing information from ecological and evolutionary biology.


Public Research university.