Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Motor Aging Target Found in Worm Model Organism

In PLOS Biology, researchers from Sichuan University and the Huazhong University of Science and Technology report on an approach that shows promise for stretching out healthy lifespan and dialing down motor aging in Caenorhabditis elegans. Using a genome-wide RNA interference screen, the team searched for genes influencing motor aging in the worm model organism, highlighting a set of nearly three dozen suspected regulators that included the PI3-kinase VPS-34. The findings pointed to a motor function-related regulatory role for VPS-34 in older C. elegans — a pattern that appeared to reflect the gene's inhibitory influence on neurotransmission in older motor neurons. Similarly, the authors saw enhanced neurotransmission and improved muscle function in worms and mice with VPS-34 levels that were dialed down genetically or using inhibitory drugs. "Global increase of life expectancy is rarely accompanied by increased health span, calling for a greater understanding of age-associated behavioral decline," the authors explain, noting that "our genome-wide screening revealed an evolutionarily conserved, actionable target to delay motor aging and prolong health span."

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.