Clues to ageing found in fly's brain

"Two years ago, Brown University researchers discovered something startling: Decrease the activity of the cancer-suppressing protein p53 and you can make fruit flies live significantly longer.

Now the same team reports an intriguing follow-up finding. The p53 protein, they found, may work its lifespan-extending magic in only 14 insulin-producing cells in the fly brain.

“It’s quite surprising,” said Johannes Bauer, a postdoctoral research fellow at Brown. “In the fruit fly brain, there are tens of thousands of cells. But we found that it takes a reduction of p53 activity in only 14 of those brain cells to extend lifespan. It was like finding a needle in the haystack – a very small needle at that.”"

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Clues to ageing found in fly's brain