A 400-year-old shark could hold the genetic secrets to a longer life, according to a group of scientists working with the University of Exeter. They're working to map the DNA of the Greenland shark, which can live for hundreds of years, to better understand their longevity.
The ‘long-life’ genes could shed light on why all vertebrates have a limited life span, and what dictates the life expectancy of different species including humans. Little is known about the biology and genetics of the Greenland shark which is found in deep water in the Atlantic ocean from Canada to Norway.
Professor Praebel, who is leading the study said: “This is the longest living vertebrate on the planet. We are currently sequencing its whole nuclear genome which will help us discover why the Greenland shark not only lives longer than other shark species but other vertebrates." He added, "The results we presented here in Exeter will help us understand more about the biology of this elusive species.”
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