Greenland Sharks may hold the secret to the Fountain of Youth

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Pop Quiz!

Q: What is the longest-living vertebrate known to man?

A: Greenland sharks which were found in the Atlantic Ocean. They may live as long as 400 years! 

Humans are always on the lookout for something that promises eternal life. OK, if not eternal, then at least a longer life. There’s so much to see and do!

So researchers have taken clippings from the fins of these sharks and are analyzing their DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) to see what it is in their genetic code that gives them this gift. DNA is a bunch of building blocks that code human beings. The sequence in which these blocks are joined together determines a lot about us – how we look, what colour hair and eyes we have, if we have dry or wet ear wax, and so on. So it definitely can determine how long we live. If we can find out the secret code in the DNA of the sharks from Greenland – the secret code that helps them to live longer, the hope is that maybe we can build that into our codes too!

 

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