Scientists increased the lifespan of a creature 5 times usual

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Scientists increased the lifespan of a creature 5 times usual

According to a study published in Journal Cell Reports, a group of scientists has been able to increase the lifespan of the Nematode worm called C. elegans. Normally these worms live only 3 weeks. The scientists alternated two cellular pathways to expand its lifespan 500% (5 times normal). If it was human this is equivalent to about 400  – 500 years. 

C. elegans are mostly used in research because they share a lot of similarities in genetics with humans and live for a very short period of time ( 3 weeks) . So it’s easy for the scientists to observe the species. They can observe how various factors such as genetics or environment affect lifespan.

The two pathways altered in this research are known as IIS ( Insulin signalling) and Tor (target of rapamycin). These are also common to humans.

Alternating the Tor pathway along increased the lifespan of C. Elegans 30%. Alternating the IIS pathway along led to an increment of 100% lifespan. But increasing the two of them simultaneously led to an increment of 500% in lifespan which is an unexpectedly high value.

“The synergistic extension is really wild,” Jarod Rollins of the MDI Biological Laboratory said in a recently published press release. “The effect isn’t one plus one equals two, it’s one plus one equals five.”

According to the authors, the study could help scientists to develop therapies to alter several cell pathways simultaneously to expand the lifespan of humans. Currently several drugs are being developed to serve the purpose.

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