Dying for it


HAVING a healthy reproductive system can lead to a shorter life, say biologists in California. Cynthia Kenyon and Honor Hsin of the University of California at San Francisco used a laser to zap the cells that give rise to eggs and sperm in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. The doctored animals lived around 60 per cent longer than normal (Nature, vol 399, p 362). Kenyon believes that signals from the animal’s eggs and sperm regulate a gene promoter that controls the animal’s lifespan. As a result,
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