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New screening method uses tiny worms to seek serum for healthy aging

(Genetics Society of America) A new screening approach uses several types of roundworms to identify chemicals that might one day help people stay healthy longer. Researchers will present initial findings from their search for anti-aging compounds at The Allied Genetics Conference, a meeting hosted by the Genetics Society of America.
"There is a key need for pharmaceuticals that can combat Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease, cancer, and other diseases related to aging," said lead author Mark Lucanic, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Gordon Lithgow, Ph.D., at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. "We are trying to identify chemicals or compounds that have potent effects on improving lifespan across multiple organisms because these might have a good chance at turning into future drug leads for treating age-related diseases in humans."...
The processes involved in aging are quite complex and are likely influenced by a person's genes. The idea behind CITP is that if scientists can find agents that show effects in organisms with diverse genetic backgrounds, those agents might be more likely to be effective in humans, as well. Since roundworms live only about three weeks, they can be used to screen for chemicals affecting lifespan in a short amount of time.
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