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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday January 30 2018, @11:17PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the do-they-get-wrinkles dept.

Naked mole rats defy the biological law of aging

In the world of animal models, naked mole rats are the supermodels. They rarely get cancer, are resistant to some types of pain, and can survive up to 18 minutes without oxygen. But perhaps their greatest feat, a new paper suggests, is that they don't age.

The first study to analyze the life histories of thousands of naked mole rats has found that their risk of death doesn't go up as they grow older, as it does for every other known mammalian species. Although some scientists caution against any sweeping conclusions, many say the new data are important and striking.

"This is remarkably low mortality," says Caleb Finch, a biogerontologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles who was not involved in the new study. "At advanced ages, their mortality rate remains lower than any other mammal that has been documented."

Scientists have long noted that naked mole rats—burrowing rodents with wrinkled, pink skin and large protruding teeth that live in large, subterranean colonies—show few signs of aging and far surpass the life span expected of a rodent this size. Mice in captivity live at most 4 years; based on their size, naked mole rats would not be expected to live past 6 years. Instead, some live beyond 30 years, and even at that age breeding females stay fertile.

The scientists behind the research work at Calico, Google's biotechnology and anti-aging subsidiary.

Also at Calico and BGR.

Naked mole-rat mortality rates defy Gompertzian laws by not increasing with age (open, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.31157.001) (DX)

Related: Silicon Valley's Quest to Extend Life 'Well Beyond 120'
Google is Super Secretive About its Anti-Aging Research


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Silicon Valley's Quest to Extend Life 'Well Beyond 120' 67 comments

The Guardian has an interesting article on the current quest sweeping Silicon Valley to disrupt death and the $1m prize challenging scientists to “hack the code of life” and push human lifespan past its apparent maximum of about 120 years. Hedge Fund Manager Joon Yun's Palo Alto Longevity Prize, which 15 scientific teams have so far entered, will be awarded in the first instance for restoring vitality and extending lifespan in mice by 50%:

Billionaires and companies are bullish about what they can achieve. In September 2013 Google announced the creation of Calico, short for the California Life Company. Its mission is to reverse engineer the biology that controls lifespan and “devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives”. Though much mystery surrounds the new biotech company, it seems to be looking in part to develop age-defying drugs. In April 2014 it recruited Cynthia Kenyon, a scientist acclaimed for work that included genetically engineering roundworms to live up to six times longer than normal, and who has spoken of dreaming of applying her discoveries to people. “Calico has the money to do almost anything it wants,” says Tom Johnson, an earlier pioneer of the field now at the University of Colorado who was the first to find a genetic effect on longevity in a worm.

Why might tech zillionaires choose to fund life extension research? Three reasons reckons Patrick McCray, a historian of modern technology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. First, if you had that much money wouldn’t you want to live longer to enjoy it? Then there is money to be made in them there hills. But last, and what he thinks is the heart of the matter, is ideology. If your business and social world is oriented around the premise of “disruptive technologies”, what could be more disruptive than slowing down or “defeating” ageing? “Coupled to this is the idea that if you have made your billions in an industrial sector that is based on precise careful control of 0s and 1s, why not imagine you could extend this to the control of atoms and molecules?,” he says.

Google is Super Secretive About its Anti-Aging Research 21 comments

In 2013, Time magazine ran a cover story titled Google vs. Death about Calico, a then-new Google-run health venture focused on understanding aging — and how to beat it. "We should shoot for the things that are really, really important, so 10 or 20 years from now we have those things done," Google CEO Larry Page told Time.

But how exactly would Calico help humans live longer, healthier lives? How would it invest its vast $1.5 billion pool of money? Beyond sharing the company's ambitious mission — to better understand the biology of aging and treat aging as a disease — Page was vague.

I recently started poking around in Silicon Valley and talking to researchers who study aging and mortality, and discovered that four years after its launch, we still don't know what Calico is doing.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @11:22PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @11:22PM (#630704)

    Not much for looks though are they? And those fangs! [snopes.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:19AM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:19AM (#630733)

      ...yet there's no shortage of Naked Mole Rats.
      Clearly, they're getting laid.

      "To each his own" said the old woman as she kissed the cow.

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:45AM (4 children)

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:45AM (#630740) Journal

        yet there's no shortage of Naked Mole Rats.

        Well if they don't die of old age, its a wonder we aren't hip deep in Mole Rats.

        What, besides starvation, freezing, and predators keeps their population at such apparently low levels such that the vast majority of people have never seen one.?

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by captain normal on Wednesday January 31 2018, @01:02AM (2 children)

          by captain normal (2205) on Wednesday January 31 2018, @01:02AM (#630747)

          According to the cats and a couple of small dogs I've had, they are very tasty. Enough so that I've often thought of looking into raising them and regular moles as they could make a super cat and dog food.

          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday January 31 2018, @01:29AM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 31 2018, @01:29AM (#630760) Journal

            So you live in Africa, do you?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naked_mole-rat#Distribution_and_habitat [wikipedia.org]

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:58PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:58PM (#630929)

            I've heard rats are very easy and cost-efficient. Breed and grow quickly, good parenting, easy containment, not fussy about food and suitable to wide range of climates.

        • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday January 31 2018, @03:57PM

          by Freeman (732) on Wednesday January 31 2018, @03:57PM (#630985) Journal

          They live up to 30 years. So, I'm guessing they die of old age, just that the expected time frame is 5x shorter than their average life span.

          --
          "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @01:26AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @01:26AM (#630759)

        Life underground must be good, stay out of the sun, don't get skin cancer...

        Somehow I don't think this lifestyle transfers very well to all of us at SN, who are mom's-basement-dwellers.

  • (Score: 2) by LVDOVICVS on Tuesday January 30 2018, @11:53PM

    by LVDOVICVS (6131) on Tuesday January 30 2018, @11:53PM (#630720)

    Brink me ze Mole Rat Elixer.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:07AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:07AM (#630728)

    The goal of life is not simply to live. It is to struggle and persevere, risk and get rewards. Simple survival is just lacks a purpose.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:11AM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:11AM (#630729) Journal

      0/10 weak argument against biological immortality

      It won't stop you from eating a bullet, that's for sure. Or being murdered on the Ceres colony.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Wednesday January 31 2018, @02:02AM (1 child)

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday January 31 2018, @02:02AM (#630776)

      Wow, this is really dumb. No, the goal of life isn't to struggle, it's simply to survive and reproduce, that's it. Any biologist will tell you this. It seems that naked mole rats do a pretty good job of this, by not aging and staying fertile possibly indefinitely.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01 2018, @05:18AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01 2018, @05:18AM (#631351)

        Looks like each instance of naked mole rat has a statistically-determined time to live.

        Determined solely by the probability of predation.

        Apparently, their whole purpose for being is providing meals-on-wheels for cats and other higher-ups.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday January 31 2018, @04:48AM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday January 31 2018, @04:48AM (#630823)

      Tell that to Antarctic krill - they reverse the aging process in the winter to conserve energy, then re-mature in the spring.

      --
      My karma ran over your dogma.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:15AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:15AM (#630731)

    She's in her late 70s with no gray hair and no wrinkles.
    It's just amazing.

    Reagan also claimed that his jet-black hair in his 80s was "natural".

    -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by Grishnakh on Wednesday January 31 2018, @02:50AM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday January 31 2018, @02:50AM (#630802)

      Check out recent photos of Jane Fonda; she's 80 now, and looks even better than Pelosi.

      Yeah it is amazing: it's amazing what plastic surgery can do these days.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @10:46AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @10:46AM (#630899)

      She's in her late 70s with no gray hair and no wrinkles.

      Does she stay naked all the time in burrows?

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:30AM (14 children)

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:30AM (#630734) Homepage Journal

    For a man, one of the worst things -- not the worst, one of the worst -- about getting old is losing hair. I have all my hair. But I take a little Propecia every day. To keep my hair. These naked rats, they don't have their hair. They live so long, that's great. But they look very old. Like the oldest rat you've seen in your life. I want to get very old but LOOK VERY YOUNG.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:40AM (11 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:40AM (#630737)

      Holy shit. It's been a fucking year and this is still what you choose to do with your life.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:42AM

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:42AM (#630738) Journal

        Eagerly awaiting #SOTU.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 4, Touché) by Grishnakh on Wednesday January 31 2018, @02:06AM (8 children)

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday January 31 2018, @02:06AM (#630779)

        Do you also complain about the comedians at SNL "wasting their lives"? Or about funny talk show hosts? Or anyone in the entertainment business?

        This guy is seriously an asset to SN. What have you been doing to contribute in the last year, besides posting AC?

        • (Score: 4, Funny) by khallow on Wednesday January 31 2018, @06:46AM (7 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 31 2018, @06:46AM (#630848) Journal

          Do you also complain about the comedians at SNL "wasting their lives"? Or about funny talk show hosts? Or anyone in the entertainment business?

          They're getting paid. We're getting this for free. It's like Christmas every time he posts.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @04:38PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @04:38PM (#631007)

            We're getting this for free. It's like Christmas every time he posts.

            Every one of his posts feels like getting a lump of coal in my stocking.

            • (Score: 3, Funny) by tibman on Wednesday January 31 2018, @06:10PM

              by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 31 2018, @06:10PM (#631056)

              Free coal! Where do i sign up?

              --
              SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
            • (Score: 2, Touché) by khallow on Wednesday January 31 2018, @07:37PM (1 child)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 31 2018, @07:37PM (#631115) Journal
              Boy, I hope that coal is clean.
              • (Score: 2) by chromas on Thursday February 01 2018, @03:24AM

                by chromas (34) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 01 2018, @03:24AM (#631320) Journal

                I clean my coal with Tide Pods.

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday January 31 2018, @05:53PM (2 children)

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday January 31 2018, @05:53PM (#631044)

            I agree, however I must point out that many people who watch SNL also see that for free, since in any reasonably-populated part of the US you can receive NBC with just an antenna. The performers are getting paid, but the viewers aren't paying for it, the advertisers are. So really, this guy should be getting some advertising dollars or something for his posts here on SN.

            Of course, with comedians at a show/club, the viewers have to pay directly to attend.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday January 31 2018, @08:31PM (1 child)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 31 2018, @08:31PM (#631159) Journal
              Viewers pay in other ways.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01 2018, @03:26PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01 2018, @03:26PM (#631494)

                Well over here in SN we pay by having to read through lame/subpar AC replies.

      • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Thursday February 01 2018, @03:14AM

        by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Thursday February 01 2018, @03:14AM (#631317) Homepage Journal

        It's been a great year for me. And I get 3 more! Maybe, probably, 7 more. Doing tremendous business at Trump International Hotel in Washington, oil stocks gaining beautifully, very rewarding new job! Check your businesses, your investments, your job -- if you're an AMERICAN I think you'll find you're doing great too. You can thank me in 2020 with your VOTE!

    • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Wednesday January 31 2018, @01:13AM (1 child)

      by captain normal (2205) on Wednesday January 31 2018, @01:13AM (#630751)

      Sorry Don, that ship has sailed over the horizon. You look a hell of lot older now than you did a year ago.
      "But don't, no don't, no, try to get yourself elected
      If you do you had better cut your hair, mmm
      https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/crosbystillsnash/longtimegone.html [azlyrics.com]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @06:37AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31 2018, @06:37AM (#630844)

        Trump likes is when photographers shoot him from in front and below.
        He really hates it when it's from the side. Massive double chin. [google.com]

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 2) by opinionated_science on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:11PM (1 child)

    by opinionated_science (4031) on Wednesday January 31 2018, @12:11PM (#630915)

    These researchers have found a way to really bilk the funders - of course, most scientists have to hype their work to get some $$$....

    Any time you hear "organism doesn't age!!!", ask yourself how *large* is the organism?

    Put simply, if it takes 30 years to get cancer, diabetes or other disease states , why would an organism that lives 2 , 5 or even 10 years show the same traits?

    And of course, once you take an animal and inbreed it for lab purpose, how much of the natural physiology are you seeing?

    Sorry, *this* mammal hasn't has coffee yet, and poor research like this is just too good to pass up a comment....

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Thursday February 01 2018, @03:26AM

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Thursday February 01 2018, @03:26AM (#631321) Homepage Journal

      Many people are saying these naked mole rats live BEYOND 30. And the females can still give birth. Marla was 29 when she gave birth to our daughter.

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