Publication Details

Hulbert, A. J. (2011). Longevity, lipids and C. elegans. Aging, 3 (2), 81-82.


Scientific investigation of mechanisms that determine lifespan can be divided into three general approaches. The first approach (the comparative method) began over a century ago comparing species differing greatly in maximum longevity and implicated a role for the speed of metabolism in determining the length of life [1]. The second approach commenced after the 1930s investigated the mechanisms whereby “calorierestriction” extended lifespan [2]. The third approach gained popularity in the 1990s and centred on genetic mutations that significantly extend longevity [3]. There has been little overlap between these three approaches. The paper by Shmookler Reis et al. in this issue [4] is significant in that it advances our understanding by combining the genetic mutants approach with recent insights from the first approach.