London: Bizarre it may appear, but havingtwo mothers may be the key to a longer lifespan -- in mice, atleast, a new study has revealed.
"The study may give an answer to the fundamentalquestions: that is, whether longevity in mammals is controlledby the genome composition of only one or both parents and,just maybe, why women are at an advantage over men with regardto the lifespan," he was quoted as saying.For the experiment, the scientists created 13"bimaternal" (BM) mice, conceived from two eggs, and comparedthese with 13 female mice of the same strain produced in thenormal fashion and raised in the same environment. The study found that the BM mice lived on averagefor 186 days longer than the normal animals, an increase whichwas equivalent to a group of women living to an average age of105, compared with the current average of 81. The longer-lived BM mice were significantly smallerand lighter than the normal ones. Prof Kono said that the increased lifespans of the BMmice probably reflected the abnormal way in which theirgenomes were imprinted, as they had no DNA of male origin. This suggests that certain imprinted genes from thefather`s sperm may suppress lifespan, perhaps while alsoincreasing body size, the scientists said. The findings have been published in the latest editionof the `Human Reproduction` journal.PTI
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