Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Flatworms Defy Aging Through Cell Division Tricks

Flatworms Defy Aging Through Cell Division Tricks:

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from The University of Nottingham have demonstrated how a species of flatworm overcomes the ageing process to be potentially immortal. The discovery, published (abstract; full text PDF) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is part of a project funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Medical Research Council and may shed light on the possibilities of alleviating ageing and age-related characteristics in human cells."

After finding the gene for telomerase synthesis in the worms, the researchers were able to observe that the worms "...dramatically increase the activity of this gene when they regenerate, allowing stem cells to maintain their telomeres as they divide to replace missing tissues."

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