Secret to long life could be revealed in bat DNA

The secret to longevity may be held in the DNA of bats, according to scientists. Bats are known to live an extremely long age, considering their size--nearly 10 times longer than an animal of that size would be predicted to live. A  team of researchers decided to figure out why bats manage to live so long, so they investigated the DNA of 500 bats representing four species. They published their research on Wednesday in the journal Science Advances

The study published in Science Advances found the telomere structures at the end of a bat's chromosomes do not shorten with age. Telomeres typically shorten each time a cell divides. The process leads to the breakdown of cells and eventually, death. Researchers say the finding could benefit studies on aging--with the hope of extending a person's lifespan.