Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, have identified a batch of genes that can slow down the aging process and also kill off cancerous tumors in worms. Biologist Cynthia Kenyon along with graduate student Julie Pinkston-Gosse conducted this study on small roundworms. They are now trying to understand if the genes have the same properties in humans. This study can help in the development of new treatments that can help in retaining youth and fighting cancer.

Highlights of the research
a. Researchers screened 734 genes that were affected by daf-2 gene, which has the ability to double the lifespan of small roundworms.
b. It was seen that 29 genes either stimulated tumor growth or suppressed it.
c. Some of the genes caused proliferation of cells while others destroyed faulty cells.
d. Half of these genes also slowed down the normal aging process.
e. It was found that the genes that stimulated tumor growth accelerated the aging process.
f. On the other hand, the genes that prevented tumor growth slowed down the aging process.
g. It was concluded that life span and cancer are intrinsically connected.