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Opportunities for new insight into aging from the naked mole-rat and other non-traditional models

Non-traditional model organisms can facilitate discovery when their natural properties provide insight into biological mechanisms that are invariant across standard-use lab species. Long-lived naked mole-rats provide such insights for healthy aging.

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Fig. 1: A photograph of a 37-year-old naked mole-rat.

Ben Passarelli, Calico Life Sciences, LLC.


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We gratefully acknowledge support from Calico Management, and in particular D. Botstein and C. Kenyon, to undertake studies using this model. We also appreciate the care of our colony by M. Smith and her team of caretakers, as well as the scientists who have worked with us in our quest to elucidate previously unknown mechanisms naked mole-rats employ to beat the vagaries of aging.

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R.B. and G.R. discussed and planned this Comment. The first draft was written by R.B. and edited by G.R.

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Correspondence to Rochelle Buffenstein.

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G.R. and R.B. are both employees at Calico Life Sciences, LLC.

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Buffenstein, R., Ruby, J.G. Opportunities for new insight into aging from the naked mole-rat and other non-traditional models. Nat Aging 1, 3–4 (2021).

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