Overachievements in Worm Longevity

Merely doubling healthy life span is old hat, last decade work now. We can engineer far better nematode worms than that: "C. elegans strains bearing homozygous nonsense mutations in the age-1 gene [produce] progeny that were thought to undergo obligatory developmental arrest. We now find that, after prolonged developmental times at 15-20 degrees C, they mature into extremely long-lived adults with near-normal feeding rates and motility. They survive to a median of 145-190 days at 20 degrees C, with nearly 10-fold extension of both median and maximum adult lifespan relative to [a] long-lived wild-type stock into which the null mutant was outcrossed. PI3K-null adults, although a little less thermotolerant, are considerably more resistant to oxidative and electrophilic stresses than worms bearing normal or less long-lived alleles." This and similar work forms an impressive set of technology demonstrations - there is no necessarily direct relevance to extending healthy human life span, but it certainly gets people fired up and excited.

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17996009

Comments

The objective is surely to understand the ageing process. Ayyadevara et al published this work in 2007 but i don't know of any explanation as to why PI3K-null mutants live so long - perhaps someone could enlighten me?

Posted by: Richard the sceptic at August 1st, 2012 7:58 AM

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