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Scientists Identified Pathways to Extending Lifespan by 500 Percent


Scientists at the MDI Biological Laboratory, in collaboration with scientists from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, Calif., and Nanjing University in China, have identified cellular pathways that amplify the lifespan five-fold inĀ C. elegans, a nematode used as a model in aging research. This would be the equivalent of a human living 400-500 years of age. The C. elegans species was used due to its shared genes with humans its short life span, which allows for quick assessment of environmental and genetic experiments. Scientists have identified two genetic cellular metabolic pathways. The experiment uses a double mutant in which the insulin signaling (IIS) and TOR pathways have been genetically modified. This alteration of the IIS pathways yields a 100 percent increase in lifespan and alteration of the TOR pathway yields a 30 percent increase, while this would be expected to live 130 percent longer, surprisingly its lifespan was amplified by 500 percent.


Hermann Haller, M.D., president of the MDI Biological Laboratory:

“Despite the discovery in C. elegans of cellular pathways that govern aging, it hasn’t been clear how these pathways interact,” … “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.”

Jarod A. Rollins, Ph.D, the lead author for this study:

“The synergistic extension is really wild,” … “The effect isn’t one plus one equals two, it’s one plus one equals five. Our findings demonstrate that nothing in nature exists in a vacuum; in order to develop the most effective anti-aging treatments we have to look at longevity networks rather than individual pathways.”


To read the full study published in the online journal Cell Reports entitled “Translational Regulation of Non-autonomous Mitochondrial Stress Response Promotes Longevity”, click here.