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article imageBiological pathways which boost lifespan identified

By Tim Sandle     Jan 17, 2020 in Science
Biologists have identified pathways which could extend lifespan by 500 percent. The finding, connected to cellular mechanisms. may pave the way for new and more effective anti-aging therapies.
Researchers from Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory has located synergistic cellular pathways that appear to be connected to longevity. Based on experiments using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, the pathways amplified the lifespan of the nematode worm fivefold. hence, the pathways appear to have a key tole to play in aging research. The increase in lifespan, if it could be successfully applied to a human, would be the equivalent to a person living for between 400 to 500 years.
The research looked used a double mutant where the insulin signaling and TOR pathways were genetically altered (pathways which are regulated in the mitochondria - the 'power houses' of cells). In doing so, the lifespan of C. elegans was amplified by 500 percent. The research shows how two pathways need to work in tandem (or 'synergistic interaction'); the implications are that to come up with the most effective anti-aging treatments in the future scientists will need to look at longevity networks instead of focusing upon individual pathways.
The reason why the worm is studied is because it shares many of genes with humans. As the worm has a short lifespan (3 to 4 weeks) any tests or studies enable researchers to rapidly assess the effects of genetic and environmental interventions, such as attempts to to extend the lifespan.
Commenting on the study, lead researcher Dr. Hermann Haller states: "Despite the discovery in C. elegans of cellular pathways that govern aging, it hasn't been clear how these pathways interact."
However, the scientist adds: "by helping to characterize these interactions, our scientists are paving the way for much-needed therapies to increase healthy lifespan for a rapidly aging population."
The research has been published in the journal Cell Reports, where the research paper is titled "Translational Regulation of Non-autonomous Mitochondrial Stress Response Promotes Longevity."
More about Lifespan, Ageing, Age, Biology
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