Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model for Aging and Age-Related Diseases

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During the last three decades the soil nematode C. elegans has become a prominent model organism for studying aging. Initially research in the C. elegans aging field was focused on the genetics of aging and single gene mutations that dramatically increased the life span of the worm. Undoubtedly, the existence of such mutations is one of the main reasons for the popularity of the worm as model system for studying aging. However, today many different approaches are being used in the C. elegans aging field in addition to genetic manipulations that influence life span. For example, environmental manipulations such as caloric restriction and hormetic treatments, evolutionary studies, population studies, models of age-related diseases, and drug screening for compounds that extend life span are now being investigated using this nematode. This review will focus on the most recent developments in C. elegans aging research with the aim of illustrating the diversity of the field.

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