UNM researchers hope study reveals secret to longer life | KOB 4
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UNM researchers hope study reveals secret to longer life

Casey Torres
July 26, 2019 09:54 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Researchers at the University of New Mexico are working hard to extend human life by studying yeast and roundworms.

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"We really want to understand the basic biology of aging, and we start by asking about it in simple organisms in the lab, but we care because we want to understand it in humans," said Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mark McCormick.

McCormick said yeast and roundworms live for a few weeks, so it’s easy to keep up with their lifespans. Each day, under graduate students log whether an organism is live or dead into spreadsheets.

“We looked at every single gene in the whole organism essentially. The ones they can live without, and we asked what happens to their lifespan. And we try to put together the patterns of which genes did and didn't affect lifespan, especially which genes might extend lifespan,” he said.

The research team has been able to double the life of some roundworms by combining a specific gene pathway with a drug. McCormick said in a few years they will start testing on mice.

"It's definitely going to happen. The question is will it affect you, or your kids or your grandkids?"

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Casey Torres

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