Rare Whales Can Live to Nearly 200, Eye Tissue Reveals

By | July 17, 2006

Rare Whales Can Live to Nearly 200 Eye Tissue Reveals

Scientists have looked into the eyes of rare bowhead whales and learned that some of them can outlive humans by generations?with at least one male pushing 200 years old. “About 5 percent of the population is over a hundred years old and in some cases 160 to 180 years old,” said Jeffrey Bada, a marine chemist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. …”It turns out the proteins in the nucleus of the eye lens are probably the oldest proteins in the body,” Bada said. “They are synthesized [before birth] and are never ever again involved in active metabolism.”

With increasing age, therefore, more and more right-handed amino acids accumulate in the lens of the eye. Once scientists know the rate of this process, they can estimate the age of an animal by analyzing the proportion of the lens’s right-handed amino acids.

They also found stone harpoon tips in some wales which date from “around 1860, 1870.” Lets stop killing animals so old.

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