Further reading

We live in an ageing society and age-related ill health imposes a serious social and economic burden on sufferers, carers, families and friends.

Yeast -3-320Fruit flies may look very different to us, but they age in the same way and share many of the same genes that control ageing.

The modern field of ageing research proposes that age-related diseases are actually symptoms of one common underlying disease: ageing itself. The scientists behind this exhibit are working towards understanding and treating ageing in order to be able to simultaneously treat all age-related diseases.

How it works

Remarkably, in the last 10 years, experimental studies of laboratory organisms such as yeast, worms and flies have uncovered genetic and environmental treatments that can extend healthy lifespan.

The same treatments work in organisms as distantly related as yeast and mice. This indicates that the work on these relatively simple organisms may provide beneficial insights into ageing in humans.

The research shows that ageing is caused by biological mechanisms that can be studied and understood - and this raises the possibility of treating ageing with drugs, just like a disease. It demonstrates that simple organisms, like yeast, worms and flies, are important for medically relevant research.

This research also highlights how lifestyle factors, such as diet choice, can influence longevity and encourages people to think about the impact of ageing and age-related diseases in society.

Visit the Facebook page of Healthy ageing.

iPhone and Android apps

What will you look like when you're old? And what about your friends? Find out with AgingBooth (by the creators of FatBooth), an easy to use and amazing face aging machine on your iPhone, iPod Touch or Android device. Android app on Google Play Android app on Google Play


This video describes the research behind this exhibit.
Watch these videos below to meet the rest of the team from the Gems and Bahler labs. 
This video shows scientists from this exhibit discussing why they work with flies.
Lead image: Blue Death: A wave of blue fluorescence is emitted by a dying worm. Credit: Cassandra Coburn