Summary: Turquoise Killfish (Nothobranchius furzeri) have one of the shortest lifespans on vertebrates on earth, reaching sexual maturity at just 3 weeks old and dying within a matter of months. It was found that old Killfish that consumed feces from a younger Killfish would live up to 45% longer than expected because of the microbes in the younger fish’s feces.
Connections: In class, we talked about fecal transplantation in humans as a way to treat diseases and disorders. This is a very similar concept. The older fish are receiving microbes from the younger fish’s feces to extend their lifespan.
Critical analysis: I found this article very interesting because of the application of human fecal transplantation. It is a very similar process, but is occurring naturally in these fish populations. I would like to know more about the specific processes and microbes involved and how that would, in fact, increase the lifespan of the fish. The article does not go into much detail in that respect.
Question: Could something similar to this occur in humans? Would you consider a fecal transplant to extend your life? What are the specific microbes involved in this process and how do that actually extend lifespan