June 06, 2016

Sources of longevity genes for genetic engineering

There are various animals that can live for centuries or millenia.

Genetic engineering technology is rapidly improving and genome wide genetic engineering could become a reality within 10-20 years. It could be possible to replicate in humans the longevity genes and cancer immunity in certain animals.

The longest lived mammal is the bowhead whales. Some confirmed sources estimate bowhead whales to have lived at least to 211 years of age.

Cell Reports Journal - Insights into the Evolution of Longevity from the Bowhead Whale Genome

The bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) is estimated to live over 200 years and is possibly the longest-living mammal. These animals should possess protective molecular adaptations relevant to age-related diseases, particularly cancer. Researchers report the sequencing and comparative analysis of the bowhead whale genome and two transcriptomes from different populations. Analysis identified genes under positive selection and bowhead-specific mutations in genes linked to cancer and aging. In addition, we identify gene gain and loss involving genes associated with DNA repair, cell-cycle regulation, cancer, and aging. Their results expand our understanding of the evolution of mammalian longevity and suggest possible players involved in adaptive genetic changes conferring cancer resistance. Researcher also found potentially relevant changes in genes related to additional processes, including thermoregulation, sensory perception, dietary adaptations, and immune response. The data has been made available online (http://www.bowhead-whale.org) to facilitate research in this long-lived species.

The bowhead whales can grow 14 meters (46 ft) to 18 meters (59 ft) in length. This thick-bodied species can weigh from 75 tonnes (74 long tons; 83 short tons) to 100 tonnes (98 long tons; 110 short tons).

Some species of sponges in the ocean near Antarctica are thought to be ten millennia old.
Specimens of the black coral genus Leiopathes are among the oldest continuously living organisms on the planet: around 4,265 years old.
The giant barrel sponge Xestospongia muta is one of the longest-lived animals, with the largest specimens in the Caribbean estimated to be in excess of 2,300 years.
The black coral Antipatharia in the Gulf of Mexico may live more than 2000 years.
The Antarctic sponge Cinachyra antarctica has an extremely slow growth rate in the low temperatures of the Southern Ocean. One specimen has been estimated to be 1,550 years old.
A specimen, "Ming" of the Icelandic Cyprine Arctica islandica (also known as an ocean quahog), a mollusk, was found to have lived 507 years. Another specimen had a recorded life span of 374 years.
Some koi fish have reportedly lived more than 200 years, the oldest being Hanako, who died at an age of 226 years on July 7, 1977
Rougheye rockfish - 205 years old
Orange roughy, also known as Deep Sea Perch, can live up to 149 years.
The maximum life-span of the freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) may be 210–250 years.
Specimens of the Red Sea Urchin, Strongylocentrotus franciscanus, have been found to be over 200 years old



Adwaita, an Aldabra giant tortoise, died at an estimated age of 255 in March 2006 in Alipore Zoo, Kolkata, India. If verified, it will have been the oldest terrestrial animal in the world.


Tu'i Malila, a radiated tortoise, died at an age of 188 years in May 1965, at the time the oldest verified vertebrate.
Jonathan, a Seychelles giant tortoise living on the island of Saint Helena, is reported to be about 183 years old, and may therefore be the oldest currently living terrestrial animal if the claim is true.
Harriet, a Galápagos tortoise, died at the age of 175 years in June 2006.
Timothy, a Greek tortoise, died at an age of 160 years in April 2004

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