January 11, 2008

Yeast life span extended to equivalent of 800 yeast years

Biologists have created baker’s yeast capable of living to 800 in yeast years without apparent side effects.

The basic but important discovery, achieved through a combination of dietary and genetic changes, brings science closer to controlling the survival and health of the unit of all living systems: the cell. The study is scheduled to appear in the Jan. 25 issue of the journal PLOS Genetics. A companion study, showing that the same genetic changes in yeast reverse the course of an accelerated aging syndrome, appears in the Jan. 14 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology. Longo’s group put baker’s yeast on a calorie-restricted diet and knocked out two genes, RAS2 and SCH9, that promote aging in yeast and cancer in humans.

This is double five times extension of yeast in 2005.

They also had a study recently published in Cell (Issue 130, pages 247-258, 2007) reported that a mouse with a gene mutation first identified by Longo’s group lived 30 percent longer than normal and also was protected against heart and bone diseases without apparent side effects.

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