Why do some people age more quickly than others? This video describes pioneering research performed by the biologist Cynthia Kenyon, who hypothesized that genes could control the rate of aging. To figure out which genes regulate aging, scientists in Dr. Kenyon’s lab made mutations in the DNA of a tiny worm called C. elegans and looked to see which mutations caused the worms to live longer, healthier lives.
Amazingly, modifying just one gene, called Daf-2, allowed the worms to live twice as long as normal. Daf-2 is a conserved gene found in flies, mice, and humans, so its activity may regulate aging in our species as well.