Worms, flies and mice may help us age better

Scientist may have discovered the fountain of youth and it is not what you expect.

This week findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that chemicals made by intestinal bacteria help slow down the aging process in worms, flies and mice.

Experiments show that these chemicals, known as indoles, maintain mobility and resilience in these creates for longer in their life span. The Naked Scientist, Chris Smith says scientists hope this research can be adapted to help aging in humans as well.

Older people are less mobile, they're less independent, and if we can make people age better, the health burden of trying to look after a very considerably aging population could be reduced.

Chris Smith | The Naked Scientists

Smith says the the head researcher of this study, Daniel Kalman of Emory University is motivated by the fact that in the next 40 years or so the number of extremely old people living in the majority of countries around the world is set to rise by 350 fold.

According to Smith, the research is not looking at how to make people live for longer, rather how to make them healthier. This is so as they age, they will still have the vitality to do more without numerous health burdens.

They started looking at the chemicals inside microscopic worms first, as their biochemistry and many other process in their bodies are the same as ours, says Smith.

If you study a very rapidly growing worm that ages fast, then it tell you something about how we age. If we can cure these worms, then we can cure humans.

Chris Smith | The Naked Scientists

Smith says the experiment was done by feeding the worms bacteria, that either could or couldn't make that magic chemical called indoles. The worms who had bacteria that made indoles, aged much better than those who didn't.

The experiment was then repeated in flies, that are a bit bigger and complex. The results were the same. When it came to do the experiment on mice, they also found old mice behaving as if they were much younger.

Perhaps we can could use this sort of strategy as one way to keep people healthier into their old age and it suggests that the bugs that live in our guts have a strong influence on how well we age.

Chris Smith | The Naked Scientists

Listen to the full discussion below:


This article first appeared on 702 : Worms, flies and mice may help us age better


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
How the IDC helped this entrepreneur get his water-saving invention in SA stores

How the IDC helped this entrepreneur get his water-saving invention in SA stores

From developing prototypes in his gran's garage to partnering with a huge global retailer. Paseka Lesolang shares his story.

Did Ramaphosa announce a 'cupcake' of a stimulus package? Experts debate...

Did Ramaphosa announce a 'cupcake' of a stimulus package? Experts debate...

Eusebius McKaiser facilitates an economics debate with a panel of economists. about how the state should respond to the recession.

The Naked Scientist reveals how birds are able to find their way around

The Naked Scientist reveals how birds are able to find their way around

Every week The Naked Scientist offers listeners the opportunity to probe his brain on anything weird and quirky.

Plants have a body clock just like humans says The Naked Scientist

Plants have a body clock just like humans says The Naked Scientist

Every week The Naked Scientist offers listeners the opportunity to pick his brain on anything weird and quirky.

Why does alcohol keep us up at night and does sweat differ in the body?

Why does alcohol keep us up at night and does sweat differ in the body?

The Naked Scientist answers these questions and more with Eusebius McKaiser...

Naked Scientist explains why you 'shed' weight after a hot bath

Naked Scientist explains why you 'shed' weight after a hot bath

The Scientist explains why your scale may be an inaccurate way to measure weight loss and more.

Popular articles
'She says I'm just waiting for this c**lie to move so I can take the photo'

'She says I'm just waiting for this c**lie to move so I can take the photo'

A caller on the Eusebius McKaiser Show, Zeenat says she was called a derogatory word for Indian on Heritage Day.

'This leaked document is calling a spade a spade'

'This leaked document is calling a spade a spade'

Breakfast Show Host Bongani Bngwa shares his views on the leaked report from the Thabo Mbeki Foundation.

[WATCH] Vietnam's The Bachelor uproar as female contestants run away together

[WATCH] Vietnam's The Bachelor uproar as female contestants run away together

Khabazela shares some of the most popular tweets, posts, and videos on 'What's gone viral'.

WC DA leader refuses to hand over electronic devices as party probes media leak

WC DA leader refuses to hand over electronic devices as party probes media leak

Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela confirmed that he was asked to hand over his devices but he says that he refused.