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LONG LIVE THE BAT

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Flying black fox
Flying black fox

Lin Fa Wang of Singapore’s Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, also known as the “Bat Man”, has been trying to understand why bats live a long life relative to their size and have an uncanny ability to avoid disease. Wang’s most recent study sequenced the entire genome of two distantly related bat species: the flying black fox and David’s Myotis.

Wang found that a bat’s ability to fly is largely related to its immune system.  Flying releases toxins in the body from processes in the muscles.  Bats have evolved a unique ability to resist the toxins.  Their immune system appears to be a lot stronger than humans.

Another study by Harvard University published in the Nature Communication Journal (August 2013) turned up a mutated growth hormone receptor lining on the outside of the Brandt bat’s species.  These mouse-sized bats live for 40 years. The ratio of size to lifespan is more than double that of humans.  


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Published inLongevity