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Fast-Aging Fish

December 9, 2015

Can super fast-paced fish reveal how humans could live longer?



African turquoise killifish male. (Ugau, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia)


A little fish that swims in the fast lane. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

When spring rains come to the dried mud of Mozambique, tiny African turquoise killifish burst forth from eggs in the ground. They become adults, reproduce, grow old, and die in just four months, as the transient pools dry up. In the journal Cell, Stanford geneticist Ann Brunet and her colleagues published the complete genome of the fish.

ANN BRUNET (Stanford University):

They can teach us about the underlying features that could lead to life in the short lane and also maybe then, life in the long lane by opposition.


In fact, some of the same genes that set these short-lived fish apart from their relatives have also been found in centenarian humans, who live to be a hundred. So studying these fast-paced fish could provide insights into what it takes to give humans longer, healthier lives. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.