<figcaption> Credit: Courtesy of wikimedia</figcaption>
Credit: Courtesy of wikimedia

Scientists had previously found that mutations in the Indy (I'm not dead yet) gene in male Drosophila from a particular genetic background result in flies with doubled lifespan. Linda Partridge at University College London and her colleagues aimed to use Indy mutant flies as positive controls for studies on how single genes affect longevity, but instead, they found that the mutants didn't live as long as previous work had shown. Female flies and flies of different genetic backgrounds were immune to the changes in Indy genes completely, and exterminating the cytoplasmic symbiont Wolbachia from male flies abolished the effects of the mutation.1

"Many studies have shown single genes to have an impact on lifespan," says Laurent Keller, Faculty of 1000 member and professor at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. "The question is whether those studies are really solid or not. This is a very clear...

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