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Cancer resistance, longevity secrets revealed in naked mole-rat

The naked mole rat has incredible longevity and resistance to cancer. Now, scientists have uncovered the source of those remarkable traits, CBC science columnist Torah Kachur reports.

Protein-making enzymes key, University of Rochester scientists find

Naked mole-rats live about ten times longer than other rodents of their size. (The Associated Press)

The naked mole rat is an unassuming rodent with incredible longevity and resistance to cancer.  

Now, researcher Andrei Seluanov and colleagues from the University of Rochester have discovered the secret behind the long life of the naked mole rat.  

CBC Radio's science columnist Torah Kachur

The new research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals that protein-producing enzymes called ribosomes are much more efficient and effective in naked mole-rats than in their mouse relatives.

That means the naked mole-rat ribosomes make fewer errors when producing proteins, resulting in less cell damage and less aging.

The researchers hope their findings could eventually be used to develop drugs that affect protein-making to reverse or prevent cellular aging. 

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