Worm cells ‘tweaked’ to overcome infertility, ageing

Cellular mechanisms in worms may be modified to overcome infertility and ageing in future generations, new research suggests.

Researcher Shawn Ahmed discovered a number of genetic pathways in the reproductive cells of nematodes – worms found in soil and compost.

The absence of one of the cellular pathways, called Piwi/piRNA, led to complete sterility in future generations. A second pathway could also be modified to allow the worms to live longer adult lives.

The findings suggest it may be possible to prevent ageing and sterility in offspring, before they are even born.

Read more at University of North Carolina