Wednesday, 01 Jul, 2009 Science

Researchers Step Forward to Creating Fountain of Youth


Researchers from Texas made a discovery which they believe could be a great step towards a considerably longer lifespan. They discovered that proper protein that was found in long-lived bats could bring to light the reason why they live much longer than the majority of other mammals of about the same size, for example mice.

According to Asish Chaudhuri, one of the leading researchers involved in the study and a Professor of Biochemistry at VA Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, the goal of the research is to find the underlying mechanisms that make it possible for some animals to live much longer than others. Thus researchers hope to come up with therapies that would slow down the process of aging in humans.

Together with his colleagues, the researcher managed to remove proteins from the livers of Tadarida brasiliensis and Myotis velifer, which are the 2 long-lived bat species, as well as from the livers of young adult mice. Afterwards scientists exposed the proteins to chemicals that cause protein misfolding. Then they analyzed the proteins and discovered that proteins extracted from bats were less damaged than the proteins removed from mice, which suggests that bats feature a mechanism that helps them maintain proper structure under great stress, reports the website of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, where the study and its results were published, said: "As it turns out, one of these bat species lives out its long life in Florida. Since bats are rodents with wings, this chemical clue as to why bats beat out mice in the aging game should point scientists to the source of this elusive fountain."

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