Monday, December 29, 2008

Biological Clocks In Reverse

The candle that burns twice as bright lasts half as long, and until recently it was thought that that the fly that produces twice as many offspring lives half as long. Thank goodness, then, for the USC biologists who found a way to express genes for fruitflies to have more children and expand their lifespan by 5 to 30 percent. I'm sure this is welcome news to all the career-minded fruitflies out there who were worried about their biological clocks.

Of course, the USC researchers are cagey, stating that "the implications for mamals are not clear." I'll tell you what I'd like them to clarify: whether I can live longer by doin' it more often. Oh, sure, there are alread quacks out there making just that claim, but I'd like to have some hard scientific evidence before I commit. (Hee hee, "hard"! Wait, I mean "That's what she said!")

So, in five or ten years, we may have some useful information about human reproduction and genes that can reduce aging. In the meantime, we're stuck with a lot more flies that will be hanging around a lot longer. Way to go!

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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