1988 & 1993—Genetic Mutations Increase Lifespan

Tom Johnson’s discovery in 1988 that a single genetic mutation, dubbed age-1, could increase the lifespan of the roundworm C. elegans by up to 65% catalyzed the modern era of research on aging. Further interest in the field was driven when Cynthia Kenyon published in 1993 that a mutation in the daf-2 gene doubled the worm lifespan. Research on age-1, daf-2, and other genes in their molecular network have led to profound discoveries about the role of nutrient signaling in aging, which forms one of the major pillars of the field.

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