Extending one’s lifespan is perhaps one of the most puzzling questions in today’s scientific world. Increasing one’s lifespan might be very real possibility as research make leaps and bounds. According to scientists at the MDI Biological Laboratory, there are synergistic cellular pathways that increase longevity in a person’s lifespan. The scientists discovered this while conducting a study on the C. elegans nematode worm. The worm showed signs in these passageways of an increased lifespan that is equal to 400 or 500 human years.
There is a deliberate reason why the nematode worm is being used for this particular study. Nematodes live about three weeks on average so testing for age or lifespan is a cinch with these creatures, but they also share a lot of genes in common with humans. The neurological pathways in the nematodes exist in us, the pathway called Insulin Signaling and TOR pathways, which have been “conserved” for many generations. In the study, these pathways are genetically altered, which yields a 100 percent increase in lifespan. It also yields an alteration of the TOR pathways, about a 30 percent increase, which means the altered one is expected to live up to 500 percent longer.
With a discovery as grand as this synergistic interaction, it’s definitely something to get excited about. Since there are different pathways, scientists may uncover paths to help treat cancer and HIV to extend the lifespans of patients enduring those diseases. This synergy may also hold an explanation of why certain scientists find a single gene responsible for people with longer life spans.
In this study, the scientists realized that longevity and the mitochondria are heavily related. In fact, they found that longevity is regulated by the mitochondria. In the past ten years, more research suggests that there is a link between mitochondrial dysregulation and aging. As with all studies, more research needs to be conducted in order to determine the validity of this theory.