Say What Now? Scientists Extend Animal's Lifespan by 500 Percent

It is the human equivalent of living for 400 – 500 years.

Scientists have managed to extend an animal’s lifespan by 500% — and are trying to do the same for humans.

The international team of researchers managed to keep roundworms, which normally only live three to four weeks, alive for five times that long via cellular editing.

The team selected the worm C. elegans, commonly used in aging research because its (usually) short lifespan can easily be observed… and also because it shares many genes with humans.

Rather than editing the cells themselves, the experiment altered “cellular pathways”, which cells use to communicate with each other, Newsweek reported.

The two pathways they manipulated — known as the TOR and IIS (insulin signaling) pathways — are also found in people.

According to a study published in the journal Cell Reports, tweaking the former yielded a 30 percent increase in lifespan, and tweaking the latter yielded a 100 percent increase.

But altering them both simultaneously produced a 500 percent increase in lifespan — the human equivalent of living for 400 – 500 years.

“The synergistic extension is really wild,” co-lead author Jared Rollins said. “The effect isn’t one plus one equals two, it’s one plus one equals five.”

Another creature commonly studied in anti-aging research is Turritopsis dohrnii, also known as the immortal jellyfish. When sick, old or hurt, the unique jellyfish can “rebirth” itself back into an earlier stage — which in theory it can do indefinitely — rendering it biologically immortal.

[via TooFab]

Share This Post