Research

Aging erodes genetic control, but it’s flexible

TRUE blue

Some genes need to be silenced for health and long life. Researchers used “reporter” genes to see whether changes associated with aging would reduce fruit flies’ ability to silence those genes. Tissues with reporter genes glowed blue. The fly on the left is 10 days old; on the right, 50. Credit: Helfand lab/Brown University

In yeast at least, the aging process appears to reduce an organism’s ability to silence certain genes that need to be silenced. Now researchers at Brown University who study the biology of aging have shown that the loss of genetic control occurs in fruit flies as well. Results appear online in the journal Aging.