SINGAPORE: A protein found in bats has been found to contain a component that may help slow down human aging and fight against Covid, heart disease and arthritis, a study has revealed.
Bats have an average lifespan of 20 years and are immune to any infections that can be fatal to humans, such as Ebola and the Covid-19 virus.
This characteristic of bats has made scientists wonder whether this resistance of the immune system could also be useful for humans.
Researchers at Singapore-based Duke-NUS Medical School have discovered a protein that causes extremely strong immunity in bats.
Experiments on genetically modified mice have shown the protein’s efficacy, and scientists are optimistic that it could be used to save millions of lives.
Researchers discovered a variant of a protein called ‘bat ASC2’ in bats that inhibits inflammation and gives them the ability to fight viruses.
According to the team, the research findings suggest an important mechanism that limits the susceptibility of bats to virus- and stress-related inflammation and its consequences in aging.
According to research published in the journal Cell, scientists genetically modified mice to insert the ASC2 protein, which then showed the same anti-inflammatory immune properties as bats.