African naked mole rat may hold the key to humans living to 200

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 05, 2012 07:40 hrs

Naked mole rats could hold the secret to humans one day living for 200 years, scientists believe.

The rodents share 93 per cent of our genes - but live up to ten times longer than other rats.

While our bodies deteriorate, as we grow older, the East African rodents have a remarkable resistance to ageing.

Naked mole rats can live for 30 years - reproducing to the end, looking young and showing little decline in brain power or bone structure.

It is thought the key to their long and healthy lives is hidden in their genes - and the secret is waiting to be unlocked.

"Ageing is not a fixed thing," the Sun quoted Professor Jonathan Flint, a specialist in human genetics at Oxford University's Wellcome Trust Centre, as saying.

There is no hard limit on how long we can live. The fact that people die at 80 or 90 is not fixed.

"We could theoretically go on for 200 years if we understood the biology pathways and could alter them in some way," he added. (ANI)

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