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If you think life's too short, then you're not alone. A team of scientists set out to find what it would take to live a very long life and they made important discoveries that bring longer life spans much closer to reality. A new research report featured on the cover of The FASEB Journal, describes how scientists "activated" life extension in the roundworm C. elegans, and in the process discovered a new metabolic state correlating with long life.
To determine the cause of these metabolism changes, scientists created a new method for collecting cellular waste and studied it to identify the specific chemical reactions. They found that that the worms achieved long life through changes in how their cells extracted energy (metabolic state). Although C. elegans often is used as an animal model for human biology, more research is needed to determine if an equivalent metabolic state could be created in humans with the same results.
"This research on worms shows that the secret to a long life comes from how we extract energy from our food," commented Weissmann. "With any luck, we'll be able to change human life in the same direction: onward and upward!"