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Longevity Roundup

July 6, 2007

New research provides insights into aging.


A fruitfly fountain of youth. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Scientists have created a single protein that inhibits aging in fruitflies. The compound binds to receptors on cell membranes involved in aging and blocks them. Doing so extends a fruitfly’s life by a third with no apparent side effects. Why these receptors even exist and what they have to do with aging isn’t known. But similar receptors exist in other animals, including humans. Learning more about them might one day extend human life as well.

In other longevity news, a study funded by the National Institute on Aging is looking at the effects of various anti-inflammatory compounds on aging. Already they’ve found that a compound derived from the common creosote bush seems to extend the life of mice. Of course, it would take many years to see if the effect is real and if the compound is safe and effective for humans. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.