BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Sci/Tech
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Thursday, 27 July, 2000, 08:55 GMT 09:55 UK
Size matters to birds
Pigeons
The researchers looked at 67 species
Birds with the greatest amount of DNA in their cells tend to live longest, scientists in Scotland have found.

Their work, published in the Trends in Genetics journal and reported in New Scientist, found a relationship between the size of birds' genomes and longevity.

Part of the research at the University of Glasgow involved studying 67 species.

Professor Pat Monaghan said: "We were surprised that there was such a good relationship with lifespan, or potential longevity."

University of Glasgow sign
The work was carried out in Scotland
It was not possible to tell if the finding holds true for other animals.

"Across the animal kingdom there is a huge variation in the amount of DNA different organisms have," Professor Monaghan went on.

"People have long been interested in trying to see if they can link that to any feature in the organism.

"Even though birds tend to have relatively small amounts of DNA, the birds which have a lot for their body size live a long time, so birds with the biggest genomes live the longest," she added.

A team of international scientists announced last month that they had sequenced 97% of the human genome, which is expected to pave the way for breakthroughs in treating and preventing disease.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

18 Nov 99 | Sci/Tech
Gene defect fights ageing
28 Jul 99 | Sci/Tech
'Ageing molecule' secrets revealed
17 Jul 00 | Sci/Tech
Celera plans next step
21 Jun 99 | Sci/Tech
Bird ringers celebrate ninety years
27 May 99 | Sci/Tech
Is Dolly old before her time?
15 Dec 98 | Sci/Tech
Muscle mice defy passage of time
13 May 99 | Sci/Tech
Enzyme prolongs cell life
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Sci/Tech stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Sci/Tech stories