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Board Member in the News: Dr. Steven Austad research on Natural Selection and Aging in Opossums in Psychology Today.

Jun 26
2019

Board Member in the News: Dr. Steven Austad research on Natural Selection and Aging in Opossums in Psychology Today. View MoreBACK

On June 10, 2019, Psychology Today spotlighted research by AFAR expert Dr. Steven N. Austad, PhD, exploring what we can learn about aging from opossums.


Dr. Austad is AFAR’s Scientific Director. He is also the Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology at  the University of Alabama at Birmingham.


After years of observation, Dr. Austad discovered that opossums in isolation lived 25%-50% longer. Without dominant predators or natural selection at play, these opossums could reproduce later, and age less rapidly. This work will recapitulate the of natural selection proteins, such as p53, to help slow the aging process, and may use these findings to develop drugs, supplements, and other remedies.


Read the article—“What Opossums Can Teach Us About Why We Age”--here.


Notably, the article is written by AFAR 2015 Irving S. Wright Award Winner Leonard Guarente, PhD, who is a Professor of Biology at MIT.





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