Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Genes That Allow Rockfish to Live up to 200 Years

Living for more than 100 years are uncommon in fish. Fish are one of the few species that encapsulate the extremes of longevity. Greenland sharks can live for more than 500 years, whereas coral reef pygmy govies only live for 10 weeks. However, the fishes' longevity actually originates from their size and habitats. This is possible because bigger organisms have a slower metabolism and are less susceptible to predation. In addition, a colder environment could possibly slow down metabolism and make it possible for Greenland sharks to live for centuries. Nonetheless, rockfish grow in colder waters for that reason and live in deep water which allow for them to live a very long life. 

The DNA in rockfish allowed for genes that are less susceptible to certain cancers than their shorter-lived kin. In addition, they also have a way to regulate insulin and use butyrophilin, a group of genes which regulates the rockfishes' immune systems. These different genes are closely similar to suppressing inflammation in aging humans. However, this does not mean that it could allow for humans to live for a long time too.


  1. It is fascinating that we are able to dissect the fishes biochemistry to understand the reason for its longevity. More research should be done on organisms like these to find answers to increasing longevity for humans. This can assist with STEM cell research and can synthetically modify humans to live longer and to possible cure cancer. Maybe we can mimic the gene in Rockfishes that make them less susceptible to cancer through PCR and can use enzyme replacement therapy to slow down cancer for humans one day.

  2. Studying organisms such as rockfish allows us to understand humans and our own genetic makeup better. Understanding how these genes work can provide possible treatments and preventions of certain diseases. It is also fascinating to see how the relationship between genes and the environment can allow these animals to live for such a long period of time.

  3. This was a very interesting read! I found it interesting how researchers are looking at ways to utilize the DNA of rockfish for biomedical research. I also found it interesting how their DNA allows for them to be less susceptible to serious diseases.

  4. It seems that these ancient species that still exist today, like the rockfish, have a particular gene that allows for an incredibly long lifespan. I wonder if research of rockfish DNA could lead to development of possible treatments of chronic illnesses present today.
    I am interested in learning about rockfish and how the species is able to survive a long life span with the ever changing aquatic environment.