Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Old Flies Can Become Young Moms

27.11.2008
Female flies can turn back the biological clock and extend their lifespan at the same time, University of Southern California biologists report.

Their study, published online this month in Molecular Genetics and Genomics, casts doubt on the old notion of a tradeoff between reproduction and longevity.

Popular wisdom and scientific opinion have held that “the more you reproduce the shorter you’re going to live,” said senior author John Tower, associate professor of biological sciences at USC.

While that may be true in some cases, Tower added, recent research has hinted at exceptions to the rule.

The latest study is a striking example.

Tower and graduate student Yishi Li screened 8,000 genes in search of ones that could make older flies lay more eggs. They found two.

When older female flies were altered to over-express either of these two genes, they lived 5 to 30 percent longer and produced more offspring.

Tower speculated that the genes are boosting activity of stem cells in the flies’ reproductive system. Stem cell activity declines with age, and reproduction in older flies could not happen without a return of stem cells to peak form.

“This would appear to be stimulating the stem cells to divide more in the old fly and therefore produce more offspring,” Tower said.

Next, Tower and Li plan to see if stem cells in other parts of the fly’s body also returned to their youthful prime.

If they did, over-expression of the two genes would seem to act as a fountain of youth for the entire organism.

The implications for mammals are not clear, Tower said, though one of the genes has a human equivalent that helps cells to grow and blood vessels to form.

But Tower’s method at least provides a proof of concept.

“It both makes females lay more eggs and live longer, so it really argues against any kind of obligatory tradeoff between reproduction and lifespan,” Tower said.

Research for this study was supported by the Ellison Medical Foundation and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Carl Marziali | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.usc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Show me your leaves - Health check for urban trees
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation
12.12.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>