Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Given the importance of ageing in disease processes, understanding its mechanisms might provide the opportunity to identify interventions — genetic and environmental — that can improve health and prevent or delay ageing-related diseases1,2. Animal models, such as nematode worms, fruit flies and mice, are often used in laboratory research because many biochemical pathways are conserved across the evolutionary tree3,4. Ageing research has accelerated in recent years: perhaps the most exciting discovery has been that certain single-gene mutations can extend the healthy lifespan of laboratory animals. Outside of the laboratory, research has also benefitted from comparative work on the rate of ageing in different organisms and from population-based genetic- association studies. Experimental work in humans has looked, for instance, at the effects of diet and exercise5. Clinical work on ageing in itself is less common, largely owing to practical considerations of the time involved.

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Publisher and/or Author and/or Editor:__Andres Agostini ─ @Futuretronium at Twitter! Futuretronium Book at http://3.ly/rECc