Aging and a limited life span are fundamental biological realities. Recent studies have demonstrated that longevity can be manipulated and have revealed molecular mechanisms underlying longevity control in the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Signals from both neurons and the gonad appear to negatively regulate longevity. One tissue-specific signal involves an insulin-like phosphatidylinositol 3-OH kinase pathway, dependent upon the DAF-16 forkhead transcription factor. These signals regulate mechanisms determining longevity that include the OLD-1 (formerly referred to as TKR-1) receptor tyrosine kinase. Interestingly, increased resistance to environmental stress shows a strong correlation with life extension.