A Look Back At the Worms

UCSF Today reports on a presentation given by Cynthia Kenyon: "Kenyon identified the gene daf-2 that codes for hormone receptors that bring insulin and IGF-1, an insulin-like growth factor, into cells. ... Lower levels of these hormones promote cell maintenance and stress resistance. If there is no receptor for the insulin to enter the cell, cells remain in this maintenance phase and age at a slower rate ... By treating worms with a chemical mutagen that damages daf-2, Kenyon found that the worm's life span increased up to six times its normal existence. ... I'm not saying that people will be able to live for 500 years. But my prediction is that these two hormones also affect aging in humans and that therapies can be developed to ward off age-related diseases and provide five to 10 additional healthy years of life." Her prediction is in much the same ballpark as the Longevity Dividend proposals - in line with what one would expect from tinkering with metabolism in the near term.

Link: http://pub.ucsf.edu/today/cache/feature/200607065.html

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