Melange Mussel Larvae
But a finding in 2005 appears to have swung the argument decisively in favour of an ageing programme. A study at the Russian Academy of Sciences found that salmon can live much longer and continue reproducing when infected by pearl mussel larvae. In some cases, infection by this parasite extends life fourfold, to 13 years. It seems that the parasite has evolved a mechanism to avert the salmon’s abrupt death so it can continue providing shelter and food for the parasite’s development and reproduction. For a parasite dependent on the survival of its host, this is a sensible strategy. While the mechanism for this effect is not yet fully understood, it seems that the larvae produce a small protein that helps to mop up free radicals.
Philip Hunter, Can ageing be stopped?