Everyone ages, and many diseases that affect humans, such as cancer, are correlated with aging. Thus, understanding the regulation of aging may also help elucidate the causes behind the predisposition of older humans to diseases like cancer. Caenorhabditis elegans is an excellent organism in which to investigate the regulation of aging. Genetic analyses have already shown that an insulin/lGF-like hormonal control system regulates aging in the worm. However, many components of this system have not been identified. Thus, the characterization of additional lifespan control genes should increase the understanding of the pathways that regulate the rate of aging in worms. Long-lived mutants from the EMS mutagenesis lifespan screen previously performed by the Kenyon group will be characterized in the hope of finding new molecules that control lifespan. Furthermore, some long-lived worms isolated from the screen exhibit sensory defects. However, little is still known on how the worm?s sensory system controls its lifespan, and thus will be a focus of this study to provide exciting insight on the role of the environment on regulating an animal?s lifespan, which should lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms of aging.
|Alcedo, Joy; Kenyon, Cynthia (2004) Regulation of C. elegans longevity by specific gustatory and olfactory neurons. Neuron 41:45-55|