On Comparative Studies of Aging

Maria Konovalenko on the study of the often large life span differences between similar species - or rather the lack of such research work in comparison to other fields of life science: "Here's this quite simple idea: to take two species similar in size and basic biology, but having a substantial difference in longevity, and figure out what's the reason for this difference. What are the distinctions in the mechanisms of aging and stress resistance? It's desirable to carry out this work in various species. However, not a lot of people are excited about this simple idea. Even the genome of the famous naked mole rat has not been sequenced yet, although many people believe it's got 'negligible' senescence. For now all that we have is negligible funding of evolutionary-comparative biology of aging. Moreover, previously obtained results are put into cold storage. ... And here comes the main question in biogerontology. Why is the research into the fundamental mechanisms of aging so scarcely funded?" Aging and longevity research in general receives very little funding and attention in comparison to its importance to the future of human health. This state of affairs is slowly changing, but not fast enough for my liking.

Link: http://maria-konovalenko.typepad.com/blog/2010/06/the-main-question-in-biogerontology.html


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