Scientists have increased the lifespan of organisms

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists studying the complex mechanics of the human aging process have demonstrated that changing the shape of the fatty acid signal can significantly increase the lifespan of roundworms.

The study was led by Dr. Meng Wang of Baylor College of Medicine. For the past seven years, Wang has been working on the relationship between longevity and lysosomes, the little sacs found in cells that are responsible for breaking down and utilizing waste products.

Wang and her team studied signals from lysosomes and found that a fatty acid called dihomo-gamma-linoleic acid plays an important role.

Produced by lysosomes, this fatty acid sets off a chain reaction of cellular messaging that prolongs the life of C. elegans roundworms.

The scientists were able to tune the fatty acid signals to effectively control the lifespan of the worms, increasing it from an average of 17 days to 20-25 days.

These signals, which allow cells to “talk” to each other about aging, demonstrate how lysosome molecules can play an important role in coordinating body-wide aging, the team said.

Experiments with worms have shown that although the signaling molecule is produced in adipose tissue, it is taken up by cells in other parts of the body.

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