In the early 1990s, most scientists did not think that aging was subject to active regulation by the genes. Exciting results from Dr. Kenyon’s lab, however, showed that a single mutation in the daf-2 gene caused the tiny roundworm C. elegans to live twice as long as normal. This gene encodes a hormone receptor that regulates lifespan not only in worms, but in flies, mammals and possibly humans as well.
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Research Paper Discussed in this Talk
Kenyon C, Chang J, Gensch E, Rudner A, Tabtiang R. A C. elegans mutant that lives twice as long as wild type. Nature. 1993 Dec 2;366(6454):461-4.
Educator Resources (Educators only)
These questions and answers were designed to link the iBiology video to the research paper and for use as a classroom activity.
Prepared by Dr. Delquin Gong.
About the Speaker
Cynthia Kenyon is a professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. She is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Her lab continues to elucidate the mechanisms of lifespan regulation in C.elegans, and she is now looking for small molecules that activate these pathways in human cultured cells as well.
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