Model organisms cultured in the lab provide a powerful way to explore basic biological processes. However, lab culture can select for high early fecundity and dramatically shorten the life-span of lab organisms. Studies that use these short-lived organisms to identify aging-related genes might identify genes that simply restore the organism's original life-span. These results might not be fully relevant to wild populations. Experiments that reduce selection for shorter life-span or seek genes in naturally long-lived cohorts should lead to a more accurate understanding of aging.