Oh, to Be a Turtle (...and not the Mutant Ninja type, either)
Feeling old? You wouldn't be if you were a Blanding's turtle -- they don't senesce, that is, their cells never experience aging. Blanding's turtles expire only from infectious diseases or physical trauma (like getting run over by a car). Their hearts, lungs and other organs are as fresh at 50 as they were at 5, and females become more fertile with age -- unlike almost all other animal life forms. A researcher in Michigan named Justin Congdon has been studying the critters for more than 30 years in hopes of discovering the secret of their youth. The job is far from glamorous but very important for mankind according to Justin, who, when hearing the media's infatuation with the murder in Florida of fashion designer Gianni Versace, remarked, "Can you believe that? The world mourns for the death of a guy who sews pants?"