Scientists Create Worms that Can Live the Equivalent of 800 Years in Human Years


Last week, researchers at the University of Southern California reported that they had created a fungus that could live 10-times longer than normal–the equivalent of a human living 800 years. Now another team at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) have tweaked nematode worms so that they also can live 10 times longer than normal. Usually nematodes curl up and die after two to three weeks. Some of the UAMS' genetically modified worms live up to nine months.


The researchers note that translating earlier anti-aging worm research into mammals (mice) has boosted rodent longevity, but not by nearly so much. Still, UMAS geriatrician Robert Shmookler Reis notes,

Worms have a short lifespan to begin with, so it seems to be relatively easy to prod them to live longer. Other mutations, which extend the life of C. elegans up to 2.5-fold, give a much smaller benefit in mice."…

"The important thing is that we now have a pretty good idea of what we should try in order to increase mouse lifespan by 50 to 100 percent. We are on a path now that might lead to similar gains from a single genetic change or drug given to mice, and eventually to a treatment that could benefit humans."

The race is on now for the Methesulah Mouse Prize.

NEXT: Ron Paul's Delegates

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  1. USC needs to rethink this anti-aging research. You can’t expect a rich old alum to leave his estate to you if he’s going to be around another 700 years.

  2. Aging will eventually just be a treatable disease. Too bad I won’t make it until then. I have the egotism and self-fascination that would be favorable survival traits in an immortal.

    Of course they are the same traits that make me insufferable as a husband, friend, son, co-worker, boss, employee, neighbor, and commenter.

  3. The Howards are coming. Too late for me probably, but I’ve already lived longer than the vast majority of humanity, so I won’t bitch.

    Well, not too loudly anyway.

  4. SugarFree, I’m sure “you’re likable enough.” 😉

  5. Not only can these nematodes live for nine months, they can also kick your ass! All I can say is, this gives me a new reason to thank God for the 2nd Amendment! I got a new “street-sweeper” for Christmas and I plan on using it on the first nematode I see!

  6. If Jesus wanted us to live that long He wouldn’t have invented guns.

  7. If Jesus wanted us to live that long He wouldn’t have invented guns.

    What happened to His promise of eternal life?

  8. Hush, Ron, people are going to get the idea I’m a poster’s pet.

  9. Ron and SugarFree,
    Sittin’ in a tree…

  10. “If Jesus God wanted us to live that long He wouldn’t have invented guns.”

    God invented guns before Jesus was on Earth, so man could kill off the dinosaurs.

  11. Will this be able to be applied to already born humans with gene therapy, or is it only applicable before birth?

    I didn’t RTFA, I’m working. But I want to know if I can benefit from this or not.

  12. Even when this is translatable to humans, the AARP won’t let the Social Security Administration budge on retirement deadlines.

    Pay into SS for 45 years, collect for 735 years.

  13. Neematoad?


  14. SugarFree: Well, that kinda hurts my feelings that you think your insufferable (huh?)
    Seriously, your my favorite… well, in the top ten…

    500 years of bingo and early bird dinners – – naked 769 YEAR OLD WHITE WOMEN!!!! EICHHHH!!!

  15. Well thank you, daniel k, it’s good to know there are some people with taste around this joint.

    (See what I meant about the egotism?)

  16. “800 times in human terms” is a pet peeve of mine. Why not just say 8 times longer than normal? That’s both more accurate and more relevant, since it’s applicable only to the worm frame of reference.

  17. GeoffBr: The idea is that humans live on average 80 years so if they were to live 10 times longer, that would add up to 800 years.

  18. Dear USC,

    Can you please wait to publish until all the boomers are dead?

    Thank you,

    Gen Xer

  19. I, for one, welcome our ancient overlords.

  20. I, for one, welcome our ancient overlords.

    Hold on, there, Sam. McCain hasn’t won the election yet.

  21. Ron or anyone,

    What Is the mechanism of extended longevity in the worms from the “disruption of insulin-like signaling”? The link says that the genetically modified worms are more resistant to oxidative and electrophilic stress. Is this the result of the production of a resveritol like substance as when humans and other mammals undergo caloric restriction?

  22. Can you please wait to publish until all the boomers are dead?

    Second. All in favor?

  23. Can you please wait to publish until all the boomers are dead?

    What?! Hey! Cool it!

  24. Dear USC,

    Can you please wait to publish until all the boomers are dead?

    Thank you,

    Gen Xer

    Dear USC,
    Could you maybe wait until the Slacker Gen X-ers are gone, too? Thanks.

  25. @Dog’s New Clothes: I caught that reference to the first episode of Doug!

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