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Whats your age? Developing an epigenetic clock to age wild rodents.

Accurately aging wild animals is fundamental to understanding a number of key processes such as survival, fecundity and immunity. However it is extremely challenging in most species, and normally requires destructive sampling. Recent molecular advances have led to the development of "epigenetic clocks" with alterations to an animals genome over its lifespan correlating strongly with chronological age. Furthermore, different tissue types may exhibit epigenetic changes at different rates, providing insights into biological aging as well as chronological aging. This project aims to develop an epigenetic clock for the multimammate mouse, a well characterised rodent species for which we have a large number of previously collected samples and a known age colony. It will also test the efficacy of different sample types in deriving the clock, with the insights from this being used to create less invasive sampling protocols for wild animals.
Date:1 Apr 2022 →  31 Mar 2023
Disciplines:Animal genetics, Vertebrate biology, Epigenetics