'Circadian Clock' May Enhance Longevity By Fighting Stress

RoseTracker| Human applications of a new study on fruit flies suggests that a key gene that maintains circadian rhythms can improve the health of aging fruit flies if it is intact, but is associated with midlife and beyond degeneration of health, if it’s damaged or absent.

Young fruit flies without this gene were able to handle stress as well as ones having the DNA. In control studies the mutant flies with no stress lived as long as flies carrying the gene. Adding stress caused malfunctions in midlife and older fruit flies, not carrying the gene.

“What’s worth noting, of course, is that every animal species, unless they are in a protected laboratory, experiences stressful events,” said Natraj Krishnan, a research associate in the OSU Department of Zoology.  “That’s part of a normal life. The metabolic challenge we presented to these fruit flies was only a moderate stress. But even so, it appeared to later cause motor and neuronal degeneration and an earlier death in the mutant flies, due to faster buildup of cellular damage.” via Science Daily