A team of scientists has discovered genes that are involved in physical aging. By influencing only one of these genes, the healthy lifespan of laboratory animals is extended – and possibly that of humans, too.
Driven by the quest for eternal youth, humankind has spent centuries obsessed with the question of how it is exactly that we age. With advancements in molecular genetic methods in recent decades, the search for the genes involved in the aging process has greatly accelerated.
Until now, this was mostly limited to genes of individual model organisms such as the C. elegans nematode, which revealed that around one percent of its genes could influence life expectancy. However, researchers have long assumed that such genes arose in the course of evolution and in all living beings whose cells have a preserved nucleus – from yeast to humans.
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