A fact of life
Ageing is a fact of life - we were born young to die old. But while some are lucky enough to live to one hundred or beyond, where does this place the rest of us? Indeed, we would agree that the lifespan of the "average" human is much less. What happens though if someone told you that you are able to extend the years that you are able to live? According to one scientist, this is soon going to be possible.
Robyn Williams travelled to the University of London to interview Matthew Piper, a Post Doctoral Fellow of the university about his research into the mechanisms of ageing; what factors effects an organism's lifespan; and what he uncovered in general so far about healthy ageing. Accordingly, his research has unearthed some remarkable facts about how to live a longer life, by means of uncovering "the secrets of ageing".
Experimenting with age
Dr. Piper's experiments involve manipulating environmental and genetic cues on flies model to see how this changes their lifespan. Easier said, what Dr. Piper is doing is exposing the flies to a variety of differrent conditions and then observes how long live they can live. It is because the lifespan of the flies are known that any inventions which cause a change in the duration of creatures’ lifespan can be determined.
Specifically, these experiments highly involve the research into how the diet of an organism can extends their lifespan. A reduce calorie intake, at the very core of it, helps the regulation of insulin - ultimately, it is this factor that is the key component of lifespan that effects the ageing process. If insulin signalling is reduced at a specific timings, we can witness the extension of lifespan by up to 40%. In addition, it is not only the duration of the years of life itself which is benefited, but also other a range of positive effects on the organism such as physique state and health.
Such evidence gathered from the experiments is also being used by Dr. Piper's team to investigate Alzheimer's disease. As it turns out, when the...