(USA)

Scientists in America have developed a technique which slows ageing in fruit flies.

The team of biologists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has enhanced the life of ‘middle-aged fruit flies’ and slowed their ageing process. Researchers increased a protein called Drp1 in the flies, which reduces mitochondria – ‘tiny power generators within cells’ – that become toxic during the ageing process. It had a big impact on the treated flies, extending the lives of female flies by 20% and males by 12%.

It is hoped the study could ultimately lead to interventions that can tackle major human health problems, like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and stroke.

“We actually delayed age-related health decline. And seven days of intervention was sufficient to prolong their lives and enhance their health,” said David Walker, a UCLA professor of integrative biology and physiology.