We live in an ageing society and age-related ill health imposes a serious social and economic burden on sufferers, carers, families and friends.
Fruit flies may look very different to us, but they
age in the same way and share many of the same genes that control
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
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
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.
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