Do Bats Hold the Key for Longevity?

There is new evidence lowly bats may have a gene which slows down their aging process and grants them a long life.

Bats have excellent immune systems which can not only fight disease but can also control inflammation.  This helps them live for an average life span of 20 to 40 years.   That’s extraordinary for the small cave creatures.

According to Professor Lin-Fa Wang of Duke-NUS

English: Little brown bat with white-nose synd...
English: Little brown bat with white-nose syndrome in Greeley Mine, Vermont, March 26, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Graduate Medical School in Singapore, bats are expert infection fighters.  Their immune systems attack disease and not their own tissue.  This is significant because bats have a gene which helps them repair DNA damage.

Scientists believe bat studies may help us discover how to slow down the aging process in people as well as how to treat cancers.

Here’s more information about bat health discoveries

However, one important point was brought up in a comment that bats do suffer from white nose disease here in the U.S.  This disease is killing large numbers of bats and a cure is yet to be discovered.

Bats can also be nuisances when they take up residence in your attic, as was the case at my house the summer before last.  Many of those bats arrived from the caves in Alcoa, Tennessee.  They come as far as Nashville to have their offspring.  After their young reach maturity they head back to the caves.  Meanwhile, they can help you get rid of mosquitoes if they don’t scare you to death as they fly around your house at night.

There is still quite a bit to learn from them and  maybe the scientists are on to something.


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