What if we could use the same technique to increase human life expectancy?

Scientists use genetically modified worms to extend their lifespan

In order to answer this question, a team of scientists consisting of researchers affiliated to the Buck Institute for Research on Ageing and Nanjing University researchers decided to modify the Insulin and Rapamycin pathways in a group C.elegans Worms. They expected to see an increase of 130% cumulatively in lifespan. Instead of a cumulative increase in lifespan, worms actually lived five times as long as they would normally.

The synergistic expansion is truly wild. It’s not one plus two equals three, but one plus three equals five. Our findings show that nature does not exist in a vacuum. To develop the most efficient anti-aging treatments, we must look at longevity networks instead of individual pathways.

What does this mean for human regeneration medicine? On a cellular basis, humans are very similar to worms. The insulin pathway and rapamycin pathways are both referred to as \”conserved\” between humans and C.elegans. This means that the pathways have been preserved in both organisms. Humans and C.elegans shared a common ancestral lineage in the distant past. This is the same as the common ancestor between humans and Chimpanzees. Over the millions of year that humans and C.elegans diverged, evolution has altered our bodies in many ways. However, our basic biological functions have remained largely unchanged.


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