Fruit Flies In The Fountain Of Youth

At first glance, the report in the current issue of Nature Genetics seems to offer nothing but trouble, especially for fruit growers and homemakers. A team of Canadian scientists put a human gene in fruit flies and managed to increase the pests' life-span by 40%. Why would anyone want to do that?

To better understand the genetics of aging, that's why. Fruit flies are some of scientists' favorite subjects for genetic research. In this case, copies of a gene known to rid human cells of the damaging products of metabolism were inserted into the cells that control fruit-fly movement. Result: the...

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