Scientists have discovered a surprising link in the trade-off between reproducing and aging -- fat metabolism. A fat-burning enzyme in __Caenorhabditis elegans__ is activated after germline stem cells stop proliferating, leading to leaner and longer-lived worms, according to research published today (Nov. 6th) in__ linkurl:Science.; __"It has been known for a long time that there is a positive correlation between lifespan and caloric restriction, [but] how fat storage, lifespan, and reproduction are intertwined remains quite mysterious," linkurl:Kaveh Ashrafi,; a molecular physiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the research, said in an E-mail. This study "starts unraveling the complex molecular mechanisms that link stem cells in the reproductive system to fat regulation and lifespan determination." Molecular geneticist linkurl:Gary Ruvkun; and his colleagues at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston first stumbled upon their findings by accident. The worm's gonad divides much more frequently than...

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