Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fruit flies unlock Methuselah’s secrets

30.01.2003


New research published in Genome Biology investigates genes that increase the life span of fruit flies in an effort to gain a greater understanding of the ageing process. The researchers from the University of Southern California and Harvard Medical School screened 10,000 fruit fly populations that were mutated.

Their results revealed that six populations of mutant flies lived 5-17% longer than normal. Furthermore, analysis of these long-lived flies showed that the extended life span was caused by the overexpression of six different genes.

The use of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster in aging research is common as these flies are short-lived in comparison to humans but carry out many of the same biological processes. The current focus of research is on genes that increase the life span of an animal because it is difficult to disentangle changes that decrease life span from those that cause disease.



Jumping genes or transposable elements are regions of DNA that are able to move around the genome of an organism. The movement of these transposable elements can cause mutations because they interrupt a gene in another part of the genome. Gary Landis, Depak Bhole and John Tower exploited this phenomenon by using a chemically controlled transposable element that acts as an accelerator of gene expression to find mutations that could make flies live longer. Crucially, they were able to turn this acceleration on an off by feeding the flies a specific chemical and to look at the effects of the mutations in adult flies.

Their experiments revealed six fly populations that lived 5-17% longer than normal flies. Characterisation of these mutant flies showed increased expression of a different gene for each population. Interestingly the overexpressed genes were involved in a variety of fundamental cellular processes, which raises the possibility that similar effects are produced in higher organisms or even humans. The authors, however, are cautious about the implications of their findings

"Further experiments will be required to confirm the role of these genes in life-span regulation, and to determine their interactions with each other and in known or novel life-span regulatory pathways."

Gordon Fletcher | Genome Biology
Further information:
http://genomebiology.com/mkt/1001/2003/4/2/R8
http://www.genomebiology.com/pressreleases
http://www.biomedcentral.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>