Feeds

Live long and prosper: Spaceflight 'slows ageing process'

Lifespan boost for tiny astronauts

Boost IT visibility and business value

Microscopic worms live longer in space, scientists have revealed in research that has implications for human ageing.

By blasting a bunch of Caenorhabditis elegans worms into orbit on the International Space Station, and comparing them with a set of developmentally-matched worms back on Earth, boffins found that the astro-nematodes enjoyed increased lifespan and had lower levels of ageing proteins in their bodies.

The globe-spanning team of experts were investigating the loss of bone and muscle mass experienced by astronauts after long spells among the stars. Their findings, published last week in the journal Nature, suggest that although muscle may shrink in space, it ages better. Dr Nathaniel Szewczyk, a researcher from the Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research at The University of Nottingham, said:

Most of us know that muscle tends to shrink in space. These latest results suggest that this is almost certainly an adaptive response rather than a pathological one. Counter-intuitively, muscle in space may age better than on Earth. It may also be that spaceflight slows the process of ageing.

It appears that the low gravity environment inactivated certain genes associated with ageing. That meant that particular toxins and proteins created by these genes were not produced and the muscles stayed healthier for longer:

These results suggest that aging in C. elegans is slowed through neuronal and endocrine response to space environmental cues.

The C. elegans worms from Bristol are famously the first worms to survive untended in space. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
TRANSMUTATION claims US LENR company
Ten points of stuff out of a five pound bag
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE
But they'd lose a deathmatch against the coming Humvee-sized, armoured Arctic ones
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?