The above suggestion that Nothobranchius would be a useful model for studying longevity genes is novel, and it is the first time that the genetic approach utilizing the annual fish is suggested, although Walford first noted the utility of annual fish in aging research (Liu and Walford, 1969). Such a utility will depend upon establishing conditions for chemical mutagenesis, isolating markers for linkage analysis, and identifying long-lived Nothobranchius mutants. Since these are straightforward, this is a feasible goal. This model will also be used in overexpression of genes by transgenesis and identification of antiaging drugs. Future identification of longevity genes may ultimately allow the identification of human homologues involved in aging. Only time will tell whether this beautiful aquarium fish will be useful in furthering the knowledge on aging. May the genome sequencers embrace this annual fish for eventually sequencing its genome!
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For centuries, ever since the legendary Ponce de Leon went searching for the elusive Fountain of Youth, people have been looking for ways to slow down the aging process. Medical science has made great strides in keeping people alive longer by preventing and curing disease, and helping people to live healthier lives. Average life expectancy keeps increasing, and most of us can look forward to the chance to live much longer lives than our ancestors.