Posted on August 15, 2019
A living shark could be the clue to improve expectations of life in humanity.
Scientists from the Fisheries and Marine Institute of the Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada discovered a shark believed to be more than 500 years old. They claim that the sea creature is the world’s oldest living vertebrate. The news was published by Diary The Sun on August 13th.
Scientists filmed the rare and massive Greenland shark. It was found in the North Atlantic Ocean and estimated it is up to 512 years old.
According to scientists led by Professor Kim Praebel, Greenland sharks only grow 1cm a year and used the shark’s size to suggest its year of birth as early as 1505, older than Shakespeare. In a study of a group of 28 Greenland sharks analysed, this shark was the oldest.
If that so, this shark would have been alive during the most important world events such as the Napoleonic Wars, America´s independence, The Industrial Revolution and both World Wars.
A marvellous species like this one will allow starting important researching about the effects of climate change and pollution for example, over a long time. Also, scientists are working on DNA from the cell nucleus, which contains the mass of the animal’s genes. The called long-life genes could give new information about why most vertebrates have such a limited life and what determines life expectancy in all kinds of species, especially humans.
Additionally, a study of the PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) has revealed that the genome of the White shark, the ancestors of which evolved 45 million years ago, is one-and-a-half times bigger than that of humans. It contains adaptive genetic changes that could be responsible for the species’ long history. Also in the study, the molecular adaptation for wound healing was evident, with positive selection in key genes involved in the wound-healing process.
Although the importance of this research is not in discussion, it is no less important to keep in mind the frontier of scientific understanding. For this study, the Institute has used minimal invasive technologies during their research and that´s good news. Little underwater video cameras (bated cameras) were used and continuing being used in the sea allowing capturing images and key information about this shark and other ancient and elusive species that could be found.
These researching advances are great news for the longed-for formula to enlarge the expectations of life for the people in the world, which has been the eternal search for all the disciplines for intent to understand the process of aging, the life and how it can be improved and lengthened as long as is possible. Maybe we couldn´t see the final results of the long-life gene researching in our lifetime but for sure it will be a great gift for the next generations.