Research

Longevity mutation found in flies far and wide

Beyond the lab: Worldwide Indy mutation

Each slice of the pie chart represents a line of fruit flies with a different geographic origin. The colored area in each represents the frequency of a Hoppel allele in that line. Flies with the Hoppel transposon lived considerably longer than flies without. Credit: Helfand and Reenan/Brown University

To date, evidence that mutations in a gene called Indy could increase life span in flies and mimic calorie restriction in mammals has come only from experiments in the lab. A new study finds that the same benefit is present in naturally Indy-mutated flies descended from flies collected in the wild all over the world and going back decades.