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Prof David Gems on BBC1's 'Bang Goes The Theory' 31/03/2014

The IHA's David Gems will feature in the upcoming episode of  ‘Bang Goes the Theory’ which airs on Monday 31st March at 7.30pm on BBC1 and iPlayer. The episode focuses on ageing. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lwxj1 More...

Published: Mar 27, 2014 4:38:10 PM

4 year PhD studentship in the IHA available

A 4 year PhD studentship to study under the supervision of Dr Nazif Alic is now available. The project will examine how genetically or pharmacologically induced changes to gene expression, at the level of transcriptional regulation, extend healthy lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster. To explore this question the student will use a broad range of techniques, including fly genetics and physiology, molecular biology, microscopy, protein chemistry and genomics. The student will gain a broad training in basic biogerontology that will prove relevant to a career in any of the currently relevant aspects of ageing and ageing related-disease. More...

Published: Mar 25, 2014 10:08:50 AM

Dr Jorge Iván Castillo Quan receives Faculty Prize

Congratulations to the IHA's Dr Jorge Iván Castillo Quan who last week was awarded 1st prize for best poster/presentation at the UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences Symposium. This follows his earlier success at UCL Faculty of Life Sciences Research Day held in September 2013, where he also won 1st prize. Well done Jorge!
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Published: Feb 25, 2014 3:24:12 PM

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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