Feeds

Boffins dredge up oldest living animal

405 years, unmolested by science

The next step in data security

Scientists have dredged up the oldest known living creature and have called it Ming.

According to reports, the 405-year-old clam (for it is that kind of mollusc) has not been named for the ex-leader of the Liberal Democrats, but for the Ming Dynasty which ruled China when it was young. The clam is so old that during its youth Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne and Shakespeare was penning his famous works.

The ocean quahog clam was dredged up off the coast of Iceland, and researchers calculated its age by counting the rings on its shell.

Professor Chris Richardson, from Bangor University's School of Ocean Sciences explained that the rings on the clam's shell provide researchers with information about growth conditions year-by-year, and so provide a record of the environmental changes during the animal's life.

He told the BBC: "They are like tiny tape recorders, in effect, sitting on the sea bed and integrating signals about water temperature and food over time."

According to the Telegraph, the find is considered so promising for what it might reveal about the aging process that charity Help the Aged has funded the team investigating the clam to the tune of £40,000.

Richard Faragher, a gerontologist at Brighton University working with the Bangor team, told the newspaper: "Most of what we know about the ocean quahog is what it tastes like. We need to find out how it retains muscle strength, remains cancer-free, and keeps its nervous system intact over such a long period of time."

Sadly, since being discovered by science, Ming has popped its clogs. We can conclude from this that to live a long and healthy life, it would be advisable for a person to avoid being sliced in two by someone intent on counting one's rings. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Stray positrons caught on ISS hint at DARK MATTER source
Landlubber scope-gazers squint to horizons and see anti-electron count surge
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.