It’s a fly’s life (and a longer one)

Fewer calories may mean longer life, and Yale scientists working with colleagues at the University of Connecticut may have found a way to mimic a reduction in calories even when food intake remains constant.

In a study published in the journal Science in November, the scientists reported that inhibiting the enzyme Rpd3 histone deacetylase extends the life span of fruit flies. The enzyme may play a key role in regulating hundreds of genes whose expression is linked to caloric intake. “If you decrease the level of the enzyme without eating less, you still get life span extension,” said Stewart A. Frankel, Ph.D., senior author of the study and an associate research scientist in pediatrics. “The trick is to find specific drugs to target this enzyme.”