TORONTO -- A research team led by Dr. Gabrielle Boulianne of The Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) and the University of Toronto (U of T) and Drs. John Phillips and Arthur Hilliker of the University of Guelph has identified a critical weakness in the defence against aging. Using the fruit fly as a model biological system, the researchers discovered that a specific cell type -- the motor neuron -- is the major target for oxidative damage, known for several years to be a key factor affecting aging and lifespan. The researchers were able to boost the flies' defences by inserting a human gene which is known to protect against oxidative damage. As a result, the average lifespan of the flies (usually about 80 days) was increased by 40 percent. Their research is reported in the June issue of the scientific journal Nature Genetics.
The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Cite This Page: