Saturday, December 9, 2017

C. elegans might be the solution to a longer lifespan for humans

Everyone is always trying to figure out how they can increase their lifespan. There is research in telomerase and telomeres to help with aging, and people change their lifestyle if it  However, it actually might be possible to actually increase our lifespan with the help of current research with C. elegans. According to the article, proteins are very important in the fertilization process. Apparently, they clump together and become deformed, and these proteins are passed down through the next generations despite being damaged. However, it turns out that right before fertilization occurs, these proteins are somehow wiped away. This process is done by the gene daf-2, which was discovered in the C. elegans. Apparently, if this gene is switched off, then it actually prolongs the lifespan of the nematodes, and this also lead to the discovery that there is an entire network of genes that help repair cells that have a buildup of damaged proteins. Plus, it turns out that humans have very similar genes that do this process as well. Also, apparently sperm is responsible for sending out a signal for the female egg to actually get rid of the proteins. So if the gene that is similar to daf-2 in humans in turned off, and sperm send the signal for the eggs to get rid of the damaged proteins, this actually allows for the fetus to not have deformed proteins, and improves it's lifespan.
I think that this study is very interesting because it sheds light to the possibility of being able to actually increase our lifespans. The idea that sperm are responsible for causing for damaged proteins to be removed from a egg is also fascinating because I didn't realize that this happened during fertilization. If we can turn off the gene in humans that us responsible for repairing cells, then it could greatly increase our children's lifespan, as well as promote healthier generations of human beings.


  1. If we could somehow figure out a way to switch off the stop codon that codes for a stop in the telomerase production we could like you said possibly figure out indeterminate growth of ourselves. With this being said I have low hope that it It will be figured out. It is indeed remarkable that organisms such as nematodes undergo such mindboggling process despite being so simple.

  2. This is a very unique finding that by switching off the stop codon, it can improve its lifespan. I feel that in order to do this, it will need to be researched more throughout the years so researchers can discover a way to turn the stop codon off.