Scientists Find Clues to Aging from Long-Lived Lemurs

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on April 2, 2015 at 5:27 AM
Font : A-A+

Scientists Find Clues to Aging from Long-Lived Lemurs

Aging is the process of growing older and represents the accumulation of changes in a person over time. This process has often intrigued scientists from across the globe. Now it is the Duke University researchers who are trying to obtain clues to aging from long-lived lemurs. The conventional wisdom in longevity research is that smaller species live shorter lives than the larger species. However, the researchers found an exception to this pattern in a group of hamster-sized lemurs. With a physiological quirk, these lemurs are able to put their bodies in standby mode, thus increasing their longevity.

When Jonas the lemur died in January 2015, just five months short of his thirtieth birthday, he was the oldest of his kind. Jonas belonged to a long-lived clan, and dwarf lemurs are known to live two to three times longer than similar-sized animals. Researchers combed through more than 50 years of medical records on hundreds of dwarf lemurs and three other lemur species at the Duke Lemur Center for clues to their exceptional longevity.


The data revealed that how long the lemurs live and how fast they age correlates with the amount of time they spend in a state of suspended animation known as torpor. Hibernating lemurs live up to 10 years longer than their non-hibernating cousins. Sarah Zehr, study co-author, said, "Dwarf lemurs like Jonas go into a semi-hibernation state for three months or less in captivity, but even that seems to confer added longevity. Hibernating dwarf lemurs can reduce their heart rate from 200 to eight beats per minute. Breathing slows, and the animals' internal thermostat shuts down. Instead of maintaining a steady body temperature, they warm up and cool down with the outside air."

Marina Blanco, study co-author, said, "It may also be that torpor increases longevity by protecting cells against the buildup of oxidative damage that is a normal by-product of breathing and metabolism. If your body is not working full time metabolically-speaking, you will age more slowly and live longer. Because lemurs are more closely related to humans than mice are, the research may eventually help scientists identify anti-aging genes in humans."

Source: Medindia

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Sedentary Behavior Precipitates Night-Time Hot Flashes
World Alzheimer's Day 2021 - 'Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer's
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Ageing and Sleep Telomere Shortening And Ageing 

Recommended Reading
Eat Right and Beat Those Wrinkles - Foods that Cause Aging
Bad eating habits will affect your health as well as your skin and make you look older than your ......
Anti-aging Secrets to a Younger You
Is there anyone in this world who fails to be swayed by the magic of youth? None, for when youth ......
Anti-Aging Treatment with Vinotherapy or Wine Facials
Experience the bliss of vinotherapy - the power of grapes for a kissable skin....
Signature of Aging Exist Solely in the Brain: Study
Researchers have identified signature of aging in the brain, suggesting the possibility of slowing ....
Ageing and Sleep
Sleep is a barometer of good health in the elderly. Sleep problems in the elderly are controlled by ...
Telomere Shortening And Ageing
Telomeres are cap- like structures at chromosome ends that play an important role in ageing and in t...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use