University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Meeting the Challenge of Healthy Ageing in the 21st Century > Genes regulating ageing and the quest for immortality

Genes regulating ageing and the quest for immortality

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People have always sought eternal life and everlasting youth. Although the causes of ageing remains largely mysterious, hundreds of genes are now known to regulate ageing in model organisms. Genes can increase longevity by up to 10 fold and retard the process of ageing as a whole in animal models. Applying this knowledge to improve human health would have huge benefits. Besides, lifespan varies dramatically between similar species: mice die of old age at 3-4 years of age, dogs cannot live more than 30 years, yet humans can live over 100 years and some animals can live even longer. Studies of species with exceptional longevity or disease resistance, like naked mole rats that are resistant to cancer or bowhead whales that live over 200 years, may help treat and prevent human diseases.

This talk is part of the Meeting the Challenge of Healthy Ageing in the 21st Century series.

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