Sep 13, 2014 7:08PM

Hungry For Immortality? Simply Eat A Naked Mole Rat

Science!

The research isn't new, but this theory is. Simply ingest a naked mole rat, drink it's blood if you prefer, and you may acheive immortality. That's science, my dears. It's stranger than fiction and it's never wrong. 

For centuries, humans have believed that drinking other humans' blood (human hematophagy) can increase life expectancy. Robert Pattinson did it for years; so did Brad Pitt, David Bowie and Kiefer Sutherland. New research indicates that perhaps we've been drinking the wrong species' life juices. The naked mole rat may actually be the fountain of youth.

According to an article published by the ABC this week, the naked mole rat "is very special — it doesn't seem to age, it doesn't feel some kinds of pain ... and it never gets cancer." It is also pretty much impervious to acid — not the drug acid, but the kind of acid that would normally burn your skin off (since their tunnels contain high levels of carbon dioxide, which turns to acid when dissolved in water). We can infer from this information that the naked mole rat is in fact made of magic.

What is the secret to their longevity and general awesomeness? According to the article, they eat their own dead babies and their faeces, but that's neither here nor there. While the real reason they're able to stay 'young' and robust up until death remains somewhat a mystery, we know how they avoid cancer. 

In the words of the ABC: "We've found several different pathways or adaptations they use to avoid cancer. One is called early contact inhibition. The 'contact' refers to cells touching or contacting each other. Normally the cells in your body are always dying and always regenerating. And normally they regenerate and grow to a certain stage. Once they have replaced what was there originally they stop growing. Cancer cells do not stop growing in most animals. But they do in the naked mole rat ... Once [their cells] sense another naked mole rat cell nearby, they'll stop growing. So inside a naked mole rat, if a cell turns cancerous it will try to keep on growing without limit, but naked mole rat cells have the so-called early contact inhibition. As soon as they get too close in contact with each other, they inhibit growth. The cancerous cell just withers on the vine."

Pretty cool, right? This means that research into the naked mole rat's 'early contact inhibition' could lead to a cure for cancer. Researching their general physiology may provide insight into how we can live longer, healthier lives. Remember that research takes years, so in the mean time, as mentioned, we recommend drinking their blood as a precaution. It's better to be safe than sorry, after all.