All humans age – just like almost all other living organisms. One reason is that the genetic material, the DNA, is increasingly damaged over time in every cell. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for the Biology of Ageing study how cells age during their lifetime and examine which genes and environmental factors are involved in the process.
The scientists employ molecular-biological and genetic techniques to explain the fundamental processes on the basis of model organisms, such as mice, fruit flies and threadworms. These animals are particularly suitable as their genomes are well understood and they have a relatively short life expectancy. It is known, for instance, that the life expectancy of a threadworm is influenced by around 100 genes and that insulin signal transduction is involved in the ageing of its cells. Researchers are certain that similar processes also influence ageing and life span in human beings. In the long-term, basic research is expected to contribute to people being able to enjoy longer and healthier lives.
The administration of the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing moved into the institute's new laboratory building on March 18th 2013. The building is situated in the centre of the University Clinics campus in Cologne. The official address has thus changed to: Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Joseph-Stelzmann-Str. 9b, D-50931 Cologne, Germany. The academic departments will move at a later date - until then they are located at Gleueler Str. 50a.
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