Cynthia Kenyon (UCSF) Part 1: Genes that Control Aging
Once it was thought that aging was just a random and haphazard process. Instead, the rate of aging turns out to be subject to regulation by transcription factors that respond to hormones and other signals. In the nematode C. elegans, in which many key discoveries about aging were first made, the aging process is subject to regulation by food intake, sensory perception, and signals from the reproductive system. Changing genes and cells that affect aging can lengthen lifespan by six fold, and can also delay age-related disease, such as the growth of tumors.