After 10 years of thorough research, scientists at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and the University of Washington have identified 238 genes that, when removed, increase the lifespan of yeast cells, providing new genomic targets that could eventually be used to improve human health, according to a press release on its website.
"This study looks at aging in the context of the whole genome and gives us a more complete picture of what aging is. It also sets up a framework to define the entire network that influences aging in this organism," said Brian Kennedy, PhD, lead author and the Buck Institute's president and CEO, according to Science Daily.
The team of researchers studied the growth of 4, 698 yeast strains, each with a gene deleted from its composition. The cells on each strain were counted to follow its respective replicative lifespan while monitoring the mother cell's ability to produce daughter cells through cell division, The International Business Times Australia reported.
This exhaustive tracking showed plenty of information about how different genes can affect aging and how DNA responds to damage and keeps the body healthier for longer, The Independent reported.
One particularly gene called the LOS1, which is linked to a master switch that is associated with calorie restriction, extended life by 60 percent.
"Our best results were single gene deletions that increased lifespan by around 60 per cent compared to normal yeast," said Mark McCormick, co-author of the study, according to The Guardian.
Researchers are now identifying which genes are more appropriate to target for gene-deletions and become an effective means to increase human life span.
The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.