Future research using the bat as a model for the study of aging may reveal mechanisms that confer resistance to expected senescent processes observed in other long-lived mammals. Elucidation of the physiological mechanisms that give rise to the exceptional longevity observed in bats may provide insight into the development of novel treatments and therapies of degenerative diseases associated with senescence in humans. Chien and Karsenty (2005) describe the typical manifestation of the aging phenotype in long-lived mammals as development of osteoporosis, reduction in body weight, lean-reduced fat tissue, loss of hair or alopecia, cardiomyopathy, early loss of fertility in females, anemia with extramedullary hematopoiesis, reduction in physical activity, and lack of obvious cause of death. Following is a brief review of potentially heuristic lines of research using the bat as a model for the study of aging.
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