New worm research could help humans live for 500 years
If what works for worms can be applied to humans, then living to the ripe old age of 500 might be a possibility for us too, a new study has shown.
Washington: If what works for worms can be applied to humans, then living to the ripe old age of 500 might be a possibility for us too, a new study has shown.
Experts tweaked two genetic pathways in the lab worm Caenorhabditis elegans and increased its lifespan five-fold, News.com.au reported.
US lead scientist Dr Pankaj Kapahi, from the Buck Institute of Age Research, said that the two mutations set off a positive feedback loop in specific tissues that amplified lifespan, asserting that the worms lived to the human equivalent of 400-500 years.
According to Kapahi, while living for hundreds of years would be difficult, the study has raised the prospect of anti-ageing treatments based on genetic interactions.
The new study involves blocking key molecules affecting the insulin action and a nutrient signalling pathway called Target of Rapamycin (TOR).
Single mutations in the TOR pathway were known to up the lifespan of C. elegans by 30 per cent, while insulin-signalling mutations could double the amount of time they lived; adding the two together was expected to extend longevity by 130 per cent - but it turned out to be much higher.
The new research has been published in the journal Cell Reports.