Researchers at CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, have discovered a simple way to estimate how long a species lives based on the DNA.
Surprisingly, using the human genome, the researchers found the maximum natural lifespan of humans is 38 years. the finding is about Neanderthals and Denisovans. This has been extended over the centuries by changes in lifestyle. More recently, advances in medicine is an influencer factor. Using this method, the scientists found that the extinct woolly mammoth probably lived around 60 years and bowhead whales can expect to enjoy more than two and a half centuries of life. DNA is the blueprint of living organisms and it is an obvious place to seek insights into ageing and lifespan. Until now it has been difficult to determine how many years an animal can live.
Over the past few years researchers have developed DNA “clocks” that can determine how old an animal is using a special type of change in the DNA called DNA methylation. There are big differences between species. The pygmy goby (Eviota sigillata) is a small fish that lives only eight weeks. Individual Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) have been found that lived for more than 400 years. The extinct Pinta Island giant tortoise had a lifespan of 120 years.