Signs of Aging
BC Cancer Agency Scientist evaluate genes associated with longevity.
Led by Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson, Senior Scientist at the BC Cancer Agency's Genome Sciences Centre, and Dr. Donald Riddle, Professor of Biology at the University of Missouri, the team analyzed several gene expression (SAGE) libraries from roundworms with a mutated form of the daf-2 gene, a principal factor in determining the lifespan of C. elegans. Worms that lack fully functional daf-2 have significantly extended lives and they live about twice as long as their wild counterparts.This research will be an important tool, as the genetic blueprint of this model organism provides clues to the workings of the human genome. Their results appear online today in the journal Genome Research.
The analysis of aging in this worm model is part of an effort at the BC Cancer Agency to characterize genes that contribute to healthy aging and freedom from age-associated diseases like cancer, in humans. The human study will enroll 500 healthy individuals over the age of 85 who have never been diagnosed with cancer, cardiovascular or pulmonary disease, diabetes or Alzheimer's disease, and who have an excellent quality of life. More information on the Healthy Aging Study is available.