Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Naked mole-rat genome: Scientists sequence DNA of cancer-resistant rodent

Date:
July 6, 2011
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
Scientists have generated the first whole-genome sequencing data of the naked mole-rat, a rodent that is resistant to cancer and lives for more than 30 years. The naked mole-rat is native to the deserts of East Africa and has unique physical traits that allow it to survive in harsh environments for many years. It has a lack of pain sensation in its skin and has a low metabolic rate that allows it to live underground with limited oxygen supply.

Naked mole-rats.
Credit: Image courtesy of Chris Faulkes, Queen Mary, University of London

Scientists at the University of Liverpool, in partnership with The Genome Analysis Centre, Norwich, have generated the first whole-genome sequencing data of the naked mole-rat, a rodent that is resistant to cancer and lives for more than 30 years.

The naked mole-rat is native to the deserts of East Africa and has unique physical traits that allow it to survive in harsh environments for many years. It has a lack of pain sensation in its skin and has a low metabolic rate that allows it to live underground with limited oxygen supply.

For the first time, scientists have sequenced the genome of the naked mole-rat to understand its longevity and resistance to diseases of aging. Researchers will use the genomic information to study the mechanisms thought to protect against the causes of aging, such as DNA repair and genes associated with these processes.

To date, cancer has not been detected in the naked mole-rat. Recent studies have suggested that its cells possess anti-tumour capabilities that are not present in other rodents or in humans. Researchers at Liverpool are analysing the genomic data and making it available to researchers in health sciences, providing information that could be relevant to studies in human aging and cancer.

Dr Joao Pedro Magalhaes, from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Integrative Biology, said: "The naked mole-rat has fascinated scientists for many years, but it wasn't until a few years ago that we discovered that it could live for such a long period of time. It is not much bigger than a mouse, which normally lives up to four years, and yet this particular underground rodent lives for three decades in good health. It is an interesting example of how much we still have to learn about the mechanisms of aging.

"We aim to use the naked mole-rat genome to understand the level of resistance it has to disease, particularly cancer, as this might give us more clues as to why some animals and humans are more prone to disease than others. With this work, we want to establish the naked mole-rat as the first model of resistance to chronic diseases of aging."

Dr Mario Caccamo, Head of Bioinformatics at TGAC, said: "We used the latest sequencing technologies for the naked mole-rat project. Due to the latest sequencing technology advances, we generated enough sequence to be able to obtain a first draft of the genome reference, in only a few days. This is a great achievement considering that this is a mammalian species with typically complex and repetitive genome."

The work follows the launch of an online database detailing the life history of more than 4,000 animal species. The online resource, which is the most extensive and complete record of animal longevity, details the maximum and average lifespan of an animal, its weight, age of sexual maturity, litter size and other life history traits. It can be used to examine why different species age at different rates in order to further understanding of the mechanisms of aging.

Study on the naked-mole rat is part of a research consortium that includes scientists from Queen Mary, University of London; University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; Harvard Medical School; Brown University; University of Southern California; Leibniz Institute for Age Research; and King's College London.

For more information on the naked mole-rat genome visit: http://www.naked-mole-rat.org/


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Liverpool. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Liverpool. "Naked mole-rat genome: Scientists sequence DNA of cancer-resistant rodent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705104220.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2011, July 6). Naked mole-rat genome: Scientists sequence DNA of cancer-resistant rodent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705104220.htm
University of Liverpool. "Naked mole-rat genome: Scientists sequence DNA of cancer-resistant rodent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705104220.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins