Yoda - The World's Oldest Mouse Update

Update: Apr-23-2004 Yoda, the world's oldest mouse, died Thursday, April 22nd in his cage at the University of Michigan. He was four years and 12 days old.

Yoda was born on April 10, 2000 at the UM Medical School. Not the best place for a mouse to attain longevity - but Yoda was born into Richard A. Miller's lab in the Geriatrics Center of the University of Michigan.


(From World's Oldest Mouse Reaches Milestone Birthday)

Yoda (shown here sniffing his cagemate) doubled the average life expectancy of a mouse. This was accomplished without a calorie-restricted diet, which has been shown to extend lifespan in mice and other small mammals.

Yoda's longevity was mostly due to careful breeding; Miller has developed strains of mice that stay smaller and age more slowly. These mice provide important clues about how genes and hormones affect the rate of human aging and risk of disease.

At the time of his death, Yoda was living quietly with his cage mate, Princess Leia, in their pathogen-free rest home for geriatric mice. He appeared to be in good health; the cause of death is not known. Princess Leia could not be reached for comment.

Science fiction is replete with technologies and drugs to extend human life; see young-forever, an anti-geriatric drug with fascinating social consequences from Larry Niven's 1976 novel A World Out of Time.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/23/2004)

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