Cynthia Kenyon: Genes and Cells that Determine the Lifespan of C. elegans

I. Genes that Control Aging
II. Regulation of Aging by Signals from the Reproductive System

Part II: The Regulation of Aging by Signals from the Reproductive System, and, also, a Link Between Aging and Tumor Growth

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Lecture Overview
Once it was thought that aging was just a random and haphazard process. Instead, the rate of aging turns out to be subject to regulation by transcription factors that respond to hormones and other signals. In the nematode C. elegans, in which many key discoveries about aging were first made, the aging process is subject to regulation by food intake, sensory perception, and signals from the reproductive system. Changing genes and cells that affect aging can lengthen lifespan by six fold, and can also delay age-related disease, such as the growth of tumors.

Speaker Bio
Cynthia Kenyon graduated valedictorian in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Georgia in 1976. She received her PhD from MIT in 1981, where, in Graham Walker’s laboratory, she was the first to look for genes on the basis of their expression profiles, discovering that DNA damaging agents activate a battery of DNA repair genes in E. coli. More >>

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