Is editing RNA the key to prolonging life?

| July 23, 2015
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

If someone was going to attempt to stop aging, what would be the first step? Researchers at the Center for Plant Aging Research with support from the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) in Korea have made a breakthrough in decoding the aging process and how to dramatically slow it down.

Our bodies are programmed to grow rapidly when we are young, mature into adults, and then at a certain age the regeneration and repair of our cells, tissue and organs grinds to a halt. All the mechanisms are not yet completely mapped out, but the IBS team has made several significant steps toward understanding how the lifespan of a cell is regulated.

The team tested the cells of a specific roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans, which share some of the same cellular attributes as humans. They focused their attention on RNA helicases, a family of enzymes that regulate the function of RNA. The helicases are well understood but their function in relation to the aging process has not yet been fully explored. IBS Center for Plant Aging Research Director Hong Gil Nam looked specifically at a helicase called HEL-1 and discovered that its inhibition has the property of promoting longevity in roundworms.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Altering RNA helicases in roundworms doubles their lifespan; similar techniques could be used on human cells, experts say

Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend