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Not just vision - diet and eye health is linked to aging in fruitflies


Key points from article :

Researchers from the Buck Institute demonstrated a link between diet, circadian rhythms, eye health and lifespan in Drosophila.

Professor Pankaj Kapahi said: “We are now showing that not only does fasting improve eyesight, but the eye actually plays a role in influencing lifespan.”

Connection lies in circadian “clocks,” 24-hour oscillations - affects complex animal behaviors.

Lead author Brian Hodge said: “The fruit fly has such a short lifespan, making it a really beautiful model that allows us to screen a lot of things at once.”

He noticed numerous genes both diet-responsive and exhibiting ups and downs at different time points, or “rhythmic.”

They then used bioinformatics to ask: Do these genes influence lifespan? The answer was yes they do.

Kapahi said: “Staring at computer and phone screens, [] well into the night are conditions very disturbing for circadian clocks." 

Hodge noted understanding how these processes work can help to target the molecular clock to decelerate aging.

Research by Buck Institute led by Prof. Pankaj Kapahi published in Nature Communications.

Staring at gadget screens at night affects circadian clock and in turn lifespan

Mentioned in this article:

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Brian Hodge

Scientist at Fountain Therapeutics working on aging and age-related disease

Buck Institute

Independent biomedical research institute focused on aging

Nature Communications

Journal covering all topics in physics, chemistry, and biology.

Pankaj Kapahi

Education professional skilled in Research, Life Sciences, Genetics, Biochemistry, and Science