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Longevity

Stem Cells May Determine Lifespan

21 years, 4 months ago

8164  0
Posted on Oct 14, 2002, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Results of a new study have led scientists to believe that stem cells may play an important role in determining how long we live. Researchers studying germ-line stem cells in nematode worms discovered that the cells appear to regulate a system that speeds up aging. Dr. Nuno Arantes-Oliveira were already aware that germ-line cells had an impact on lifespan, however in their most recent study they found that they could extend the worms lifespan by destroying specific germ-line precursor cells that develop from stem cells.

Results of a new study have led scientists to believe that stem cells may play an important role in determining how long we live. Researchers studying germ-line stem cells in nematode worms discovered that the cells appear to regulate a system that speeds up aging. Dr. Nuno Arantes-Oliveira were already aware that germ-line cells had an impact on lifespan, however in their most recent study they found that they could extend the worms lifespan by destroying specific germ-line precursor cells that develop from stem cells. Destroying these cells has also been shown to have the same effect on fruit flies. Arantes-Oliveira now plans to determine how the cells are regulating lifespan.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Science 2002; 295:502-505

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