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Behind the Study: On Standardization of Controls in Lifespan Studies | Aging-US



May 22, 2024

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  • Dr. Leonid Peshkin from the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School details a research perspective he co-authored that was published by Aging (Aging-US) in Volume 16, Issue 4, entitled, “On standardization of controls in lifespan studies.” DOI - Corresponding author - Leonid Peshkin - Abstract The search for interventions to slow down and even reverse aging is a burgeoning field. The literature cites hundreds of supposedly beneficial pharmacological and genetic interventions in model organisms: mice, rats, flies and worms, where research into physiology is routinely accompanied by lifespan data. However, when experimental animals from one article live as long as controls from another article, comparing the results of interventions across studies can yield misleading outcomes. Theoretically, all lifespan data are ripe for re-analysis: we could contrast the molecular targets and pathways across studies and help focus the further search for interventions. Alas, the results of most longevity studies are difficult to compare. This is in part because there are no clear, universally accepted standards for conducting such experiments or even for reporting such data. The situation is worsened by the fact that the authors often do not describe experimental conditions completely. As a result, works on longevity make up a set of precedents, each of which might be interesting in its own right, yet incoherent and incomparable at least for the reason that in a general context, it may indicate, for example, not prolonging the life of an average organism, but compensating for any genetic abnormalities of a particular sample or inappropriate living conditions. Here we point out specific issues and propose solutions for quality control by checking both inter- and intra-study consistency of lifespan data. Sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article - Subscribe for free publication alerts from Aging - Keywords - aging, animal disease models, survival modeling, data standardization About Aging-US Launched in 2009, Aging-US publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging-US go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways. Please visit our website at​​ and connect with us: Facebook - X - Instagram - YouTube - LinkedIn - Pinterest - Spotify - Media Contact 18009220957 MEDIA@IMPACTJOURNALS.COM

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