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Jorge Ivan Castillo Quan on Anti-Ageing research

'Anti-Ageing: Health or Beauty?' A guest blog by Jorge Ivan Castillo Quan, written for the 2015 Write About Research Competition.

http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/…/2…/07/07/anti-ageing-health-beauty/ More...

Published: Jul 8, 2015 11:51:04 AM

Talks from Gems Lab at International C. elegans Meeting

Dr Marina Ezcurra and Dr Alex Benedetto were both selected to speak at the recent International C. elegans Meeting in Los Angeles (June 24th-28th). The two talks described new breakthroughs in understanding the mechanisms by which age-related pathologies originate in C. elegans, and generated considerable interest. Alex also described a new stress-resistance assay based on death fluorescence, recently discovered in the Gems lab. For details of the C. elegans International Meeting see http://www.genetics-gsa.org/celegans/2015/ More...

Published: Jul 7, 2015 11:01:37 AM

Institute of Healthy Ageing hosts BSRA Annual Meeting

The 65th British Society for Research on Ageing Annual Meeting took place at the Institute of Healthy Ageing on July 1st-2nd 2015. Speakers at the conference included Claudio Franceschi (Bologna), Paul Shiels (Glasgow), Jesus Gil (Imperial), and Avan Aihie Sayer (Southampton). They also included several speakers from the IHA: Lazaros Foukas, who described how ageing can be slowed down in mice by reducing PI3 kinase signalling, Cathy Slack (whose talk was awarded the Korenchevsky Prize) spoke about how Ras signalling controls fruitfly ageing, and David Gems who gave a welcome address, including a discussion of “The ageing-disease false dichotomy”.
For further information about the meeting see http://www.bsra.org.uk/node/842 More...

Published: Jul 7, 2015 10:59:19 AM

PLoS One paper for Dr Cathy Slack

25 October 2012

Congratulations to Dr Cathy Slack (Partridge Laboratory) on the publication of her paper 'Activation of AMPK by the Putative Dietary Restriction Mimetic Metformin is insufficient to Extend Lifespan in Drosophila' in PLoS One.

Abstract -
The biguanide drug, metformin, commonly used to treat type-2 diabetes, has been shown to extend lifespan and reduce fecundity in C. elegans through a dietary restriction-like mechanism via the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and the AMPK-activating kinase, LKB1. We have investigated whether the longevity-promoting effects of metformin are evolutionarily conserved using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. We show here that while feeding metformin to adult Drosophila resulted in a robust activation of AMPK and reduced lipid stores, it did not increase lifespan in either male or female flies. In fact, we found that when administered at high concentrations, metformin is toxic to flies. Furthermore, no decreases in female fecundity were observed except at the most toxic dose. Analysis of intestinal physiology after metformin treatment suggests that these deleterious effects may result from disruptions to intestinal fluid homeostasis. Thus, metformin appears to have evolutionarily conserved effects on metabolism but not on fecundity or lifespan.

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