Anti-Aging Uncertainties Persist

New research raises further questions about the role of sirtuins in aging.

By Emily Singer

Two papers published today in Nature present contradictory evidence about a promising approach to understanding and manipulating the biology of aging: boosting expression of a gene called Sir2. One of the papers calls into question whether boosting Sir2 expression truly enhances longevity in animals; the other suggests that it does, though to a lesser extent than previously thought. Research into Sir2 and related genes, called sirtuins, has captured attention among both scientists and the public because of the implications for anti-aging drugs. Several such drugs are now being tested in humans.

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