Biogerontology: How a Compost Heap in Bristol Gave Rise to the Science of Aging

The cosmetic and wellness industries are rife with products claiming Buddhist anti-aging and are valuable for your money and it can be difficult to navigate only for expensive moisturizers.

Goop is a brand that often goes under fire for making unscientific claims about the benefits of keeping crystal eggs in places where no one should ever keep crystal eggs or steam into your vagina like broccoli. Aging and its prevention is supported by some legitimate science – in fact it has its own name. In an email to IFLScience, author Andrew Steele wrote that the ageless: The New Science of Old Wedding is not old-fashioned, the biological aspect of the biological study of adult learning, “known as gynecology.”

“Gerontology encompasses all sorts of factors ranging from health to social factors according to our age and the biological aspect relates to comprehension – and potentially treatment – and the cellular and molecular infrastructure of the aging process.” As Steele’s book explains, there was an unexpected hero in the rise of this branch of science who came out of the compost heap in 1951. Nobel laureate Sidney Brenner explored a model species that could possibly provide some digestible insight into neural development.

The answer came in the form of a kind of nematode worm. Brenner made a kind of excavation from the earth in his garden at Cambridge but auditioned to find the perfect model specimen for his study. He was finally settled on the Bristol strain, Caenorhabditis Elegance, which is best known (if this controversial Twitter controversy is anything but C Elegance). “Sea elegans are such a useful creature for the study of aging that they don’t live very long,” Steele wrote. “The‘ normal ’strain of C. elegans, known as N2, grows, reproduces and dies in about two weeks, which makes it even faster to test in humans – you can get your subjects to die within a fortnight. Wait fifty years to get started!”

Playing with such a short life cycle, scientists began shooting at the insects as “chemical blunderbuss” to see how or why the DNA in the insects affected the longevity, but initial investigations were somewhat hit and miss. Finally, these genetic screens uncovered some relevant areas of the genome that alter the life span of worms. “The first of these, for obvious reasons, was named Age-1, and the discovered variety added about 50% to the longevity of worms,” ​​Steele said. “After decades of discovery, there is a nice symmetry:

The current worm-winning champion is a different mutation of the same age-1 gene that saves worms ten times more – 1000%! – which is a particularly significant increase considering the worm’s genetic code is responsible for the change responsible for involving only one character change.”