The C. elegans Lifespan Machine
Ulmschneider, Bryne E.
Nash, Zachary M.
López Moyado, Isaac F.
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CitationStroustrup, Nicholas, Bryne E. Ulmschneider, Zachary M. Nash, Isaac F. López Moyado, Javier Apfeld, and Walter Fontana. 2013. “The C. elegans Lifespan Machine.” Nature methods 10 (7): 10.1038/nmeth.2475. doi:10.1038/nmeth.2475. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.2475.
AbstractThe measurement of lifespan pervades aging research. Because lifespan results from complex interactions between genetic, environmental and stochastic factors, it varies widely even among isogenic individuals. The action of molecular mechanisms on lifespan is therefore visible only through their statistical effects on populations. Survival assays in C. elegans provided critical insights into evolutionarily conserved determinants of aging. To enable the rapid acquisition of survival curves at arbitrary statistical resolution, we developed a scalable imaging and analysis platform to observe nematodes over multiple weeks across square meters of agar surface at 8 μm resolution. The method generates a permanent visual record of individual deaths from which survival curves are constructed and validated, producing data consistent with the manual method for several mutants in both standard and stressful environments. Our approach allows rapid, detailed reverse-genetic and chemical screens for effects on survival and enables quantitative investigations into the statistical structure of aging.
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