Yoda was born April 10, 2000, at the Medical School. At 1,462 days old, Yoda is now the equivalent of about 136 in human years. The life span of the average laboratory mouse is slightly more than two years. Yoda, the world’s oldest mouse, celebrated his 4th birthday April 10. A dwarf mouse, Yoda lives in quiet seclusion with his cage mate, Princess Leia, in a pathogen-free rest home for geriatric mice belonging to Dr. Richard Miller, professor of pathology in the Geriatrics Center of the Medical School.
Miller is an expert on the genetics and cell biology of aging. To study the aging process, he has developed strains of mice, derived from wild mice captured in Idaho, that live longer, stay smaller and age more slowly than ordinary mice. Although extremely low-calorie diets have been shown by other scientists to produce very long-lived mice, the genetic approaches used in Miller’s laboratory achieve longevity without the need to restrict food intake.