Unlocking the Mysteries of Circular DNA: How it Can Extend the Lifespan of Fruit Flies

Fruit flies can live longer by using circular RNA

RNA is a component of the genetic code, and it can be found in all cells of our bodies. The most common form of RNA, a linear strand with a well-defined function, is the best known. There is another type of \”RNA\”, also known as circRNA. It forms a loop, making it more stable, and less susceptible to degradation. CircRNAs are found in the brain as we age. Scientists still do not know the biological functions of circRNAs. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging are now one step closer to answering the question of what these mysterious circular RNAs do. One of them contributes towards the aging of fruit flies.

Carina Weigelt, along with other researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging led by Linda Partridge investigated the role of circRNAs during the aging process using fruit flies. This is a unique study, as it’s not well known what circRNAs are capable of, particularly from an aging perspective. Carina Weigelt, who led the study’s main part, says that no one has ever looked at circRNAs from a longevity perspective before. She continued: \”We have now identified a circumRNA that extends lifespan in fruit flies if we increase it. It is regulated through insulin signaling.\”


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