Scientists have elucidated a key element of how diet restriction might boost life span. A single pair of proteins, whose activity is linked to diminished food intake, is responsible for significantly increasing the lifespan of worms, a linkurl:study;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature08130.html published in this week's __Nature__ reports. "[This study] is going to open a field that's probably going to be important for mammalian life," said gerontologist linkurl:Nir Barzilai;http://molgen.aecom.yu.edu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=45&Itemid=68 of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, who was not involved in the study. He cautioned that since the study was done in worms, its relevance to mammalian aging isn't yet clear. "It's not totally translatable, but it is exciting," he said.
Scientists have been studying the phenomenon of increased longevity with diet restriction for about 70 years, and have replicated the effect in many species, from mice and fish to yeast and primates. But until about two...
Interested in reading more?
Become a Member of
Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!