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WNYC's Radiolab Interviews UCSF Researchers About "Life's Limit" and "Fountains of Youth"

WNYC's Radiolab series tackles just five topics each season. Most recently, in an exploration of the science of aging and the search for immortality in an episode titled "Mortality," hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich featured interviews with two UCSF researchers. The show's first segment, "Life's Limit," focuses on Leonard Hayflick, PhD, adjunct professor of anatomy at UCSF, who, in 1961, discovered that human cells in a culture divide a finite amount of times before reaching a maximum limit, henceforth called the Hayflick limit. In the segment, Hayflick discusses how the introduction of telomerase can extend the life of cells beyond the Hayflick limit, but at a cost. In "Fountains of Youth," the second segment of the program, Krulwich visits the UCSF lab of Cynthia Kenyon, PhD, where Kenyon describes a struggle--between what she dubs the "Grim Reaper" and "Fountain of Youth" genes--that influences the lifespan of the roundworm C. elegans. By tinkering with these genes, Kenyon and her team have been able to more than double the worm's lifespan. What are the implications, if any, for halting the aging process in humans? Related links: Mortality Radiolab, WNYC-FM (NPR), June 15, 2007 Is Aging a Disease? A Conversation with Cynthia Kenyon UCSF Science Café, January 10, 2007 Read it | Hear it Live Long and Prosper: A Conversation About Aging with Cynthia Kenyon UCSF Science Café, January 4, 2007 Read it | Hear it Discover: Cynthia Kenyon and Anti-Aging Genes UCSF Today, May 29, 2007 Charlie Rose and Cynthia Kenyon Explore the Science of Living Longer UCSF Today, April 2, 2007 Aging: Will Research into "Longevity Genes" Help Us Live Longer and Healthier Lives? UCSF Today, January 12, 2007 Can Kenyon's Roundworms Lead Us to the Fountain of Youth? UCSF Today, July 7, 2006 Cynthia Kenyon: Probing the Prospects of Perpetual Youth UCSF Magazine, May 2003 Wormworld (Kenyon Lab)