• Our bodies are composed of several trillion cells and during aging those cells accumulate random errors due to stress or external insults. Those errors do not affect all cells at the same time and with the same intensity, so the researchers reasoned that selecting the less affected cells and eliminating the damaged ones could be a good strategy to maintain tissue health and therefore delay aging and prolong lifespan.
  • To test their hypothesis, the researchers used Drosophila melanogaster flies. Morenos team identified a gene which was activated in less healthy cells. Normally, there are two copies of this gene in each cell. By inserting a third copy, the researchers were able to select better cells more efficiently.
  • However, the potential of the results goes beyond creating Methuselah flies, the researchers say: Because the gene azot is conserved in humans, this opens the possibility that selecting the healthier or fitter cells within organs could in the future be used as an anti aging mechanism.

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