Monday, July 14, 2014
Worm that can put Itself into Ageless State'
Certainly we have plenty of anecdotal support for fasting in later life supporting aging.
I am not particularly sure that a drug protocol can be derived or even if we can figure out the best fasting protocol either. Otherwise, the fasting protocol I use works wonderfully in regulating my intake and promoting good health.
PUBLISHED: 21 June 2014
The centuries-long search for the fountain of youth has led researchers to an unlikely source - a tiny worm.
The nematode worm C. elegans can put itself into 'famine mode' researchers have discovered- a state where it does not age.
They say a new study of the phenomenon could one day lead to a drug for humans.
'It is possible that low-nutrient diets set off the same pathways in us to put our cells in a quiescent state,' said David R. Sherwood, an associate professor of biology at Duke University who led the research.
'The trick is to find a way to pharmacologically manipulate this process so that we can get the anti-aging benefits without the pain of diet restriction.'
Researchers found that taking food away from C. elegans triggers a state of arrested development: while the organism continues to wriggle about, foraging for food, its cells and organs are suspended in an ageless, quiescent state.
When food becomes plentiful again, the worm develops as planned, but can live twice as long as normal.
The study, published in PLOS Genetics, found that C. elegans could be starved for at least two weeks and still develop normally once feeding resumed.
Because the meter isn't running while the worm is in its arrested state, this starvation essentially doubles the two-week lifespan of the worm.
The study found that C. elegans could be starved for at least two weeks and still develop normally once feeding resumed.
'This study has implications not only for aging, but also for cancer,' said Sherwood.
'One of the biggest mysteries in cancer is how cancer cells metastasize early and then lie dormant for years before reawakening.
'My guess is that the pathways in worms that are arresting these cells and waking them up again are going to be the same pathways that are in human cancer metastases.'
The researchers are now performing a number of genetic studies to see if they can find another way to force C. elegans into these development holding patterns.