Studying model organisms

You might wonder how insights that have been gained by studying model organisms like worms, flies, mice, and fish can be translated into the understanding of ageing processes in humans. But there are great similarities in the ways that different organisms function. And a gene from a human or a mouse can often carry out its task normally when transplanted into a yeast or a fly. The way cells are organised and divide, the way that proteins act as the work horses of an organism - this is all highly genetically conserved over millions of years. On those grounds, from studying model organisms we might draw conclusions regarding the ageing process in humans.

Scientist determining the number of dead flies in food vials during a life span analysis: At the MPI for Biology of Ageing, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is used as a model organism.