Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Genome-based diets maximise growth, fecundity, and lifespan


A moderate reduction in food intake, known as dietary restriction, protects against multiple ageing-related diseases and extends life span, but can also supress growth and fertility. A research group from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne has now developed a diet based on the model organism’s genome, which enhances growth and fecundity with no costs to lifespan.

What is the best path to a long and healthy life? Scientists had a relatively simple answer for many years: less food. But it turned out that this could have unpleasant consequences. Experiments showed that putting flies or mice on diet could impair their development and fecundity. How could we take advantage of the beneficial effects of dieting, and at the same time avoid the damaging effects?

Researchers use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster for their studies on genome-based diet.

Dr. Sebastian Grönke / Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

Genome-based diet

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne and UCL Institute of Healthy Ageing in London have now designed a diet based on the model organism’s genome. In the study, published today in Cell Metabolism, they calculated the amount of amino acids a fruit fly would need, thereby defining the diet’s amino acid composition.

“The fly genome is entirely known. For our studies we used only the sections in the genetic material that serve as templates for protein assembly - the exons, which collectively make up the ‘exome’. Then we calculated the relative abundance of each amino acid in the exome, and designed a fly diet that reflects this amino acid composition”, explains George Soultoukis, scientist in the department of Linda Partridge, director at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne and at the UCL Institute of Healthy Ageing in London.

Using a holidic fly diet previously developed by the team to enable manipulation of individual nutrients such as amino acids, the group found that flies eating this exome-matched diet develop a lot faster, grow bigger in size, and lay more eggs compared to flies fed a standard diet. Remarkably, the flies on the exome-matched diet lived as long as slower-growing, fewer-egg-laying flies fed with “standard” diets. “The flies that had free access to the exome-matched diet even ate less than controls. Thus, high quality protein, as defined by the genome, appears to have a higher satiety value”, said Matthew Piper, who conducted part of the work at UCL and is now working at Monash University.

The study also found that similar phenomena may occur in mice, and future mouse work could further improve our understanding of how and why diets affect mammalian lifespan. “Our aim now is to characterize the effects of genome-based diets upon mammalian lifespan”, says Soultoukis.

Human diet

In theory this approach is applicable to all organisms with a sequenced genome – including humans. Soultoukis explains: “Dietary interventions based on amino acids can be a powerful strategy for protecting human health. Obviously factors such as age, gender, health, and personal lifestyle also have to be taken into account. Future studies may still employ novel -omics data to design diets whose amino acid supply matches the needs of an organism with even higher precision. Understanding why we need amino acids in the amounts we do will be key, and such studies provide novel and powerful insights into the vital interactions between nature and nurture”.

Weitere Informationen:

Dr. Maren Berghoff | Max-Planck-Institut für Biologie des Alterns

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Don't Give the Slightest Chance to Toxic Elements in Medicinal Products
23.03.2018 | Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)

nachricht North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>