LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — UCLA biologists say they have identified a gene that can slow the aging process when activated.
Working with fruit flies, researchers used the gene called AMPK to increase their life spans by about 30 percent. A senior author of the research, published in the journal Cell Reports, said the work could have important implications for delaying disease and aging in humans.
“We have shown that when we activate the gene in the intestine or the nervous system, we see the aging process is slowed beyond the organ system in which the gene is activated,” said David Walker, associate professor of integrative biology and physiology at UCLA.
The findings are important, because protecting the human brain or other key organs from aging could prove to be technically difficult. But slowing the aging process throughout the entire body by triggering AMPK in a more accessible organ, such as the intestine, could solve that problem.
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