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Quanta Magazine: Epigenetic ‘Clocks’ Predict Animals’ True Biological Age

A statistical analysis of chemical tags on DNA may help unify disparate theories of aging.

This time a year ago, Steve Horvath was looking for pangolin DNA. The ancient scaly anteater would be a first for his collection, which was then about 200 mammals strong. “I didn’t have any of that order, which is why I desperately wanted them,” he recalled.

Since the summer of 2017, Horvath, who until recently was an anti-aging researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, has spent as much as 10 hours a day penning emails to zoos, museums, aquariums and laboratories. He has attended talks on bats and Tasmanian devils to meet their keepers. He has reached out to the far corners of the world, begging for the DNA of flying foxes, vervet monkeys, minipigs and bowhead whales…

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