Naked mole rat may be ugly, but it could hold secret to longevity

October 2, 2013 12:27 AM

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Naked mole rat may be ugly, but it could hold secret to longevity

The nearly blind subterranean rodent with wrinkly, pink skin and sparse hair looks disturbingly like a big toe with tusks. But it can live for 30 years -- 10 times longer than its rodent cousins -- and shows remarkable resistance to tumors.

Those are traits that tend to attract the attention of molecular biologists, among other mortals. Who wouldn’t love to find ways to slow down death, and maybe cure a few intractable diseases along the way?

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