When observing the colorful Turquoise killifish swimming in its aquarium, it is difficult to believe that it can serve as a model system for human aging; but it does. An ever-growing number of researchers interested in aging are working with this fish due to its extremely short lifespan that – even under optimal housing conditions – does not extend beyond four to twelve months, hallmarked by fast growth and rapid aging. Indeed, the aging process of N. furzeri and humans share many common features, both being vertebrates. An international team of scientists from the Leibniz Institute on Aging – Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI) alongside cooperating institutes, have now succeeded in deciphering and analyzing N. furzeri's genome. This milestone toward understanding the genetic control of human aging, and the results – together with a parallel study from colleagues at Stanford University – have now been published in the renowned Cell journal.
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