The University of Liverpool's Joao Pedro Magalhaes and his colleagues announced that they have sequenced the naked mole rat genome, reports the Short Sharp Science blog at New Scientist. The blog notes that naked mole rats have a social structure similar to that of leafcutter ants and that they live a long time and appear to be resistant to cancer. With this draft sequence, researchers can begin to study why that is so. "You can start to look, for example, at the DNA repair systems in naked mole rats, and find out if they are different from mice, which have a much shorter lifespan," Magalhaes tells BBC Nature. "It's a first step to uncovering the mysteries of this creature's remarkable longevity and its resistance to diseases."
The Interest of the Naked Mole Rat
Jul 06, 2011