Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why some animals live longer than others

Date:
March 29, 2012
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
Scientists have developed a new method to detect proteins associated with longevity, which helps further our understanding into why some animals live longer than others.

Elephant herd. Findings show that if certain proteins are being selected by evolution to change in long-lived mammals like humans and elephants, then it is possible that these species have optimized pathways that repair molecular damage, compared to shorter-lived animals, such as mice.
Credit: JohanSwanepoel / Fotolia

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have developed a new method to detect proteins associated with longevity, which helps further our understanding into why some animals live longer than others.

The team looked at the genome of more than 30 mammalian species to identify proteins that evolve in connection with the longevity of a species. They found that a protein, important in responding to DNA damage, evolves and mutates in a non-random way in species that are longer-lived, suggesting that it is changing for a specific purpose. They found a similar pattern in proteins associated with metabolism, cholesterol and pathways involved in the recycling of proteins.

Findings show that if certain proteins are being selected by evolution to change in long-lived mammals like humans and elephants, then it is possible that these species have optimized pathways that repair molecular damage, compared to shorter-lived animals, such as mice.

The study, led by Dr Joao Pedro Magalhaes and postgraduate student, Yang Li, is the first to show evolutionary patterns in biological repair systems in long-lived animals and could, in the future, be used to help develop anti-aging interventions by identifying proteins in long-lived species that better respond to, for example, DNA damage. Proteins associated with the degradation of damaged proteins, a process that has been connected to aging, were also linked with the evolution of longevity in mammals.

Dr Magalhaes, from the University's Institute of Integrative Biology, said: "The genetic basis for longevity differences between species remains a major puzzle of biology. A mouse lives less than five years and yet humans can live to over 100 for example. If we can identify the proteins that allow some species to live longer than others we could use this knowledge to improve human health and slow the aging process.

"We developed a method to detect proteins whose molecular evolution correlates with longevity of a species. The proteins we detected changed in a particular pattern, suggesting that evolution of these proteins was not by accident, but rather by design to cope with the biological processes impacted by aging, such as DNA damage. The results suggest that long-lived animals were able to optimise bodily repair which will help them fend off the aging process."

The research is published in the American Aging Association's journal, Age.


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. "Why some animals live longer than others." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120329112105.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2012, March 29). Why some animals live longer than others. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120329112105.htm
University of Liverpool. "Why some animals live longer than others." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120329112105.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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