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World’s Oldest Mouse Reaches 136th Birthday

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  • World’s Oldest Mouse Reaches 136th Birthday

    We'll try this again, since it got wiped out.


    ANN ARBOR, MI -Yoda, the world's oldest mouse, celebrated his fourth birthday on Saturday, April 10, 2004 . A dwarf mouse, Yoda lives in quiet seclusion with his cage mate, Princess Leia, in a pathogen-free rest home for geriatric mice belonging to Richard A. Miller, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of pathology in the Geriatrics Center of the University of Michigan Medical School.

    Yoda was born on April 10, 2000 at the U-M Medical School . At 1,462-days-old, Yoda is now the equivalent of about 136 in human-years. The life span of the average laboratory mouse is slightly over two years.

    “Yoda is only the second mouse I know to have made it to his fourth birthday without the rigors of a severe calorie-restricted diet,� Miller says. “He's the oldest mouse we've seen in 14 years of research on aged mice at U-M. The previous record-holder in our colony died nine days short of his fourth birthday. 100-year-old people are much more common than four-year-old mice.�

    Miller is an expert on the genetics and cell biology of aging. To study the aging process, he has developed strains of mice, derived from wild mice captured in Idaho, that live longer, stay smaller and age more slowly than ordinary mice. Although extremely low-calorie diets have been shown by other scientists to produce very long-lived mice, the genetic approaches used in Miller's laboratory achieve longevity without the need to restrict food intake.

    Miller's mouse colony also includes strains of mutant dwarf mice, developed at Jackson Laboratory, which are very small and long-lived. Yoda is the longest-living member of this unusual tribe.

    Miller's geriatric mice are providing important clues about how genes and hormones affect the rate of human aging and risks of disease late in life. His current work focuses on identifying defects in T cells from aged mice that interfere with a normal immune response, and finding ways to reverse those defects.

    Engineered Mouse Keeps on Ticking
    "Yoda" turns 136 in human years while teaching researchers about aging and longevity
    By Gabe Romain, Betterhumans Staff
    4/14/2004 • Hits: 1048 • Comments: 0


    Credit: Richard A. Miller, U-M Medical School
    Happy 136th birthday: Yoda (left) recently celebrated the equivalent of a 136-human-year birthday with his cage mate Princess Leia (right)


    The world's oldest mouse has turned four—136 in human years—as it continues to teach researchers about aging and longevity.

    Yoda, a dwarf mouse, celebrated his fourth birthday on April 10 in quiet seclusion with his cage mate, Princess Leia.

    The pair live in a rest home for geriatric mice belonging to Richard Miller, a professor of pathology at the Geriatrics Center of the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor.

    "Yoda is only the second mouse I know to have made it to his fourth birthday without the rigors of a severe calorie-restricted diet," says Miller. "He's the oldest mouse we've seen in 14 years of research on aged mice at U-M. The previous record-holder in our colony died nine days short of his fourth birthday."

    Geriatric mice

    Average lab mice live slightly more than two years.

    The world record holder died in January 2003 just a week short of five years, says Aubrey de Grey, a biologist and computer scientist in the University of Cambridge Department of Genetics.

    Researchers are interested in studying long-lived mice such as Yoda because they provide information about the aging process and methods of increasing human longevity.

    Yoda has had genetic modifications that affected his pituitary gland, affected his thyroid glands and reduced his production of insulin.

    The modifications also left him a third smaller than average mice and highly sensitive to cold—he lives with Princess Leia so that she can keep him warm.

    About 100 other mice live in Yoda's lab, where they're being used for a study on lifespan.

    "I gather that Yoda is a dwarf mouse with a mutation in a gene that is involved in the creation of the pituitary gland," says de Grey, a cofounder of the Methuselah Mouse Prize, which aims to spur research into life extension.

    "This gland makes three important hormones, and researchers believe that one of them, growth hormone, is the one responsible for the effect on lifespan," he says. "Growth hormone may have some beneficial effects in the elderly, but it definitely seems to be bad to have too much of it during youth (and maybe prenatally). These mice have no pituitary, so hardly any growth hormone."

    Antiaging clues

    Antiaging interventions such as caloric restriction—consuming a diet with fewer calories but all the essential nutrients of a normal diet—have proven to extend the lifespan of mice and delay the onset or reduce the incidence of many age-related diseases.

    The genetic approaches used in Miller's laboratory, however, produce long-lived mice without the need to restrict their food intake.

    The mice provide clues about how genes and hormones affect the rate of human aging and the risks of disease late in life.

    Miller's current work, for example, focuses on identifying defects in T cells from aged mice that interfere with a normal immune response, and finding ways to reverse those defects.

    De Grey notes, however, that the implications of Yoda's longevity may not be much for human longevity. "Those of us who have the misfortune to be already alive can't take advantage of the genetic modifications that Yoda had," he says. "We have the option to do it the hard way, of course, by restricting our calories, but even there it's not clear what we would gain: there is no reason why restricting calories should give the same proportional life extension in humans as in mice, and in fact there are good evolutionary reasons to think it will give us only a few years at most."

    De Grey says that what humans need is something that reverses age-related decline rather than just slowing it down, which is the focus of his work.

    "It's not as hard as it sounds," he says.


    The mouse, the myth, the legend:





    Yoda sniffing his cage mate, Princess Leia. Dwarf mice always are housed with larger females to provide body warmth needed to protect smaller dwarf mice from freezing to death. (Photo credit: Richard Miller, U-M Medical School)
    \"No, I think Space is a dimension of Time. My theory is that Time is a field and that Space exists as an aspect of Time.\" Michael Moorcock

    \"All I know about anything is \"I wasn\'t. I am. I will not be.\" Michael Moorcock

  • #2
    sad news:

    Yoda - The World's Oldest Mouse Update
    Update: Apr-23-2004 Yoda, the world's oldest mouse, died Thursday, April 22nd in his cage at the University of Michigan. He was four years and 12 days old.

    Yoda was born on April 10, 2000 at the UM Medical School. Not the best place for a mouse to attain longevity - but Yoda was born into Richard A. Miller's lab in the Geriatrics Center of the University of Michigan.


    On April 22, Yoda died peacefully in his cage at the U-M Medical School. He was four years and 12 days old.


    poor criiter ....had a long, mouse-life....
    \"No, I think Space is a dimension of Time. My theory is that Time is a field and that Space exists as an aspect of Time.\" Michael Moorcock

    \"All I know about anything is \"I wasn\'t. I am. I will not be.\" Michael Moorcock

    Comment


    • #3
      At least Yoda lived the good life!

      Comment


      • #4
        "Update: Apr-23-2004 Yoda, the world's oldest mouse, died Thursday, April 22nd in his cage at the University of Michigan. He was four years and 12 days old."

        This isn't our version of the "Sports Illustrated Cover Curse" is it? (Wherein a team or athlete did well enough to make the SI cover, then immediately after loses, or gets hurt, or otherwise loses the basis for getting on the cover in the first place).

        Comment


        • #5
          ''I told them
          the birthday cake
          would throw a wrench in his strict diet,
          a great mouse, he was.''

          hamster solo



          http://bbspot.com/News/2003/01/jaromir.html

          Comment


          • #6
            R.I.P. Yoda, you total stud of a mouse, you!

            (This is in reference to a joke I made in the original, lost-to-the-ether thread. I will not repeat it out of respect for the dead, as well as out of respect for the rest or you. :P)
            "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
            --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

            Comment

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