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January 25, 2018

Calico Scientists Publish Paper in eLife Demonstrating that the Naked Mole Rat’s Risk of Death Does Not Increase With Age

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – January 25, 2018 – Calico scientists today published new findings in the journal eLife demonstrating that the long-lived naked mole rat has a flat mortality curve, defying Gompertzian laws that an animal’s risk of death grows exponentially with age.  The paper, titled “Naked mole-rat mortality rates defy gompertzian laws by not increasing with age,” was authored by J. Graham Ruby, Megan Smith and Rochelle (Shelley) Buffenstein.

“We have long known that naked mole rats are unique mammals in that their 30+ year lifespan goes well beyond what would be expected based on their ‘mouse-like’ size,” said Dr. Buffenstein, Senior Principal Investigator at Calico.  “Research has shown that the chance of dying for mammals such as humans, horses and mice, among others, increases exponentially with age, according to Gompertz’ law.  Our research demonstrates that naked mole rats do not age in the same manner as other mammals, and in fact show little to no signs of aging, and their risk of death does not increase even at 25 times past their time to reproductive maturity.  These findings reinforce our belief that naked mole rats are exceptional animals to study to further our understanding of the biological mechanisms of longevity.”

About Calico

Calico (Calico Life Sciences LLC) is an Alphabet-funded research and development company whose mission is to harness advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan. Calico will use that knowledge to devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives. To learn more about Calico, visit