A theory that suggests the aging process might be safely slowed by targeting genes that are quiet early but threaten damage later in life has gotten a boost from new findings from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The researchers dont promote such tinkering in their paper, which appears online this week in advance of publication by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Rather they detail their tests, based on models of mathematical prediction, of the two leading evolutionary theories of aging on the reproductive success of 100 different genotypes of fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) across various age groups.
The results suggest that more needs to be learned about which genes do what and when in the aging process so that artificial manipulation does not cause evolutionary damage in future generations, said Kimberly A. Hughes, an animal biologist in the Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Illinois.
Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
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