The genetics of ageing

Nature. 2010 Mar 25;464(7288):504-12. doi: 10.1038/nature08980.


The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans ages and dies in a few weeks, but humans can live for 100 years or more. Assuming that the ancestor we share with nematodes aged rapidly, this means that over evolutionary time mutations have increased lifespan more than 2,000-fold. Which genes can extend lifespan? Can we augment their activities and live even longer? After centuries of wistful poetry and wild imagination, we are now getting answers, often unexpected ones, to these fundamental questions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Cell Respiration / physiology
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Longevity / genetics
  • Longevity / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Transferases / metabolism


  • Insulin
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Transferases