Measuring the maximum life span of wild animals is difficult, but now researchers have developed a method based on vertebrate DNA to determine their natural lifespan,media reported. A team at the CSIRO Institute in Australia, led by Dr Ben Mayne, has developed a method that detects changes in DNA, namely DNA methylation.
The technique alters the activity of DNA fragments by adding methyl to DNA molecules without affecting the nucleic acid sequence of the fragment.
We know that genes are made up of DNA, which is the instruction that determines the composition of the organism as a whole.
“DNA methylation does not change the sequence of genes, but it helps control whether and when it is activated,” Mayne said. “
Interestingly, the longest natural life expectancy of modern humans is only 38 years. Later, human life expectancy may have been due to changes in lifestyle and medical advances after the cave age.
The study also found that woolly mammoths lived at 60 years, while right whales had a maximum life span of 268 years, 57 years longer than previously thought.
The study was published in Scientific Reports.