Research rat 'Old Man' dies in San Antonio

December 22, 2010 4:45:28 AM PST
For three decades, a research rat dubbed "Old Man" helped scientists in San Antonio try to unravel the mysteries behind Alzheimer's, cancer and other diseases. The rat born in Kenya -- has died.

Researchers say the naked mole rat's body was discovered late last month in a lab at the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies on the campus of the Texas Research Park. Old Man was believed to be 32.

Experts say not-so-attractive naked mole rats are positively beautiful in the eyes of researchers.