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Humans Discover The Mystery Of Mammalian Aging And Lifespan

by Derrick Smith
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Research from the United Kingdom found that the number of gene mutations that mammals experience in their life cycle is about 3,200 times, and the mutation rate is proportional to the lifespan of mammals.


The scientists found that the total number of genetic mutations in mammals is about 3,200. (Photo via Pixabay.com)

London, UK (Merxwire) – Every mammal has a certain lifespan. For example, the lifespan of monkeys is about 20-25 years, the lifespan of dogs is about 10-15 years, and the lifespan of mice is about 2-4 years. Although differences in medical quality and environmental conditions may shorten or prolong the lifespan, the difference is not significant. Is there any rule to follow in the lifespan of mammals?

In order to unravel the mysteries of mammalian life, the Wellcome Sanger Institute team tried to find the contributing factors of mammalian aging and life cycle and found the total number of gene mutations in the life cycle of mammals of different species is roughly similar. The research was published in the international scientific journal Nature.

Scientists have researched 16 species, including humans, cats, dogs, monkeys, mice, lions, tigers, rabbits, giraffes, etc. The study analyzed the DNA, life expectancy of different animals, and the rate of genetic mutation in different species and tried to find out the secrets of life from the mutation of cells.

They found that the total number of genetic mutations in these animals was roughly 3,200 times over their lifetime. The higher the frequency of mutations in an animal, the shorter the lifespan. In other words, the longer the lifespan, the fewer the number of genetic mutations per year.

In the case of lions, their genes mutate about 160 times a year and live about 20 years. (Photo via Pixabay.com)

In the study, mice mutated about 800 times a year and lived only about four years; dogs mutated about 249 times a year and lived for about ten years; lions mutated about 160 times a year and lived about 20 years. Humans mutate about 47 times a year, and the data is roughly in line with the current average human lifespan.

The approximate length of lifespan can be calculated by dividing the total number of 3,200 mutations by the number of mutations per year. The researchers pointed out that despite the different lifespans of various mammals, mammals have the same number of mutations at the end of life, and the total number of genetic mutations is about 3,200. But what is the significance of this number? It’s still a mystery.

Are genetic mutations linked to aging? The genetic mutation was similar whether the animals entered senescence after 7 months or after 70 years. The study demonstrated the association of genetic mutations with aging and lifespan, helping to explain aging in mammals and validated in the calculation of lifespan.

In the past, scientists have found that the number of heartbeats correlates with the length of lifespan. For example, the human heart beats about 2.5 billion to 3 billion times in a lifetime, and a fast heartbeat is an important factor in shortening life expectancy. Today, people study aging and lifespan through the number of mutations and find more possibilities for the mystery of life.

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